​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Joma Sison DID NOT say he wants Duterte replaced by Robredo

At least three websites –, and – published June 29 a false report claiming Communist Party of the Phillippines founder Jose Maria Sison said he wants Vice President Leni Robredo to take the place of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Bearing the headlines “JUST IN!! JOMA GUSTONG PAALISIN SI DUTERTE AT IPALIT SI LENI!!” and “BREAKING NEWS: JOMA GUSTONG PAALISIN SI DUTERTE AT IPALIT SI LENI” (Joma wants to oust Duterte and replace him with Leni), the story carried as its content an 11-minute clip of an hour-and-a-half long June 29 CNN Philippines newscast, uploaded by Youtube channel Tokhang TV with the title “J0MA GUSTONG MAGKUDETA. KAY LENI NA MAKIKIPAG-USAP. (Joma wants a coup. Will talk to Leni instead.).”

In the video, Sison – as chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines – was quoted as saying in a June 28 statement that the NDFP could no longer negotiate with Duterte and that it would “relatively be easier and more productive” for the group to join the Oust Duterte movement.

Sison added the NDFP should prepare instead for peace negotiations “with the prospective administration that replaces the Duterte regime.”

The communist leader, however, made no mention of Robredo in his statement.

The online post, which could have reached more than 901,000 people, was published a day after the peace talks between the government and communist rebels were supposed to resume, after having been thrice postponed. On June 14, Peace Secretary Jesus Dureza announced the June 28 meeting would no longer push through, saying Duterte wanted to engage with the public first before coming up with agreements with the NDFP.

Traffic to the story was largely generated from social media by Facebook pages President Digong News, President Duterte Loyal Supporters, and Ako Ang Media Ni Duterte. was created on June 26; on June 1April 13

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)