VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Legarda statements on CPP twisted to MISLEAD

Several Facebook (FB) accounts are circulating statements attributed to Sen. Loren Legarda regarding Leftist groups and ideology. These quote cards are misleading.

The FB posts twisted what Legarda said during a Senate session on Aug. 30.

First posted on Aug. 31 by an FB user, the inaccurate posts carried this quote juxtaposed with a photo of the lawmaker:

“Hindi kalaban ng pamahalaan ang Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).  Ginagalang ko ang mga taga-CPP dahil sa magandang pananaw nito para sa bayan kahit na hindi ito nakalinya sa adhikain ng karamihan. Hindi dapat tawaging kalaban ang CPP.” 

(The CPP is not an enemy of the state. I respect the CPP because of its good vision for the nation, even though it is not in line with the goals of the majority. The CPP should not be called an enemy.)

Below is the transcript of Legarda’s actual quote where she questioned calling the CPP an “enemy of the state.”

I do not recall what law or what pronouncement of government has declared the Communist Party of the Philippines or similar organizations, movements, beliefs, associations, could be declared as what, enemies of the state? It’s so difficult to identify that.”

Source: Senate of the Philippines YouTube channel, Senate Session No. 14, Aug. 30, 2022, timecode 1:06:27 to 1:06:55 (emphasis ours)

Moreover, Legarda did not say she respects members of the CPP despite their vision “not being in line with that of the majority.”

On the contrary, she said she would not judge some organizations whose beliefs may be different but whose vision for the nation is ultimately similar with the majority.

“I also would not pass judgment and label, perhaps, certain organizations whose beliefs may be different from the general majority but when we look at it, we bear similar objectives, vision, dreams for our people.”

Source: Senate of the Philippines YouTube channel, Senate Session No. 14, Aug. 30, 2022, timecode 1:07:50 to 1:08:19

The misleading quote cards appeared a day after Legarda delivered her speech, reacting to Sen. Francis Tolentino’s proposal to require public officials to disclose whether they have relatives connected with terrorist and criminal groups.

At least two FB users and four FB pages posted the quote cards: Team Philippines (created on July 17, 2016), RED WAVE Pilipinas (created on Nov. 8, 2021), Antonio Parlade (created on Feb. 16, 2021), and 301st Infantry “Bayanihan” Brigade, Philippine Army (created on March 12, 2016). 

The six posts collectively garnered over 4,400 interactions.

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