A video clip of singer-actress Sharon Cuneta with the first part cut to make it appear she linked Vice President Leni Robredo to the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), is making the rounds on Facebook (FB). The clip is malicious and misleading.
A review of Cuneta’s full pronouncement showed her talking about the “fake news” that the communist group had allied with Robredo. But that portion was excluded from the circulating video. A reader requested VERA Files Fact Check to examine the post for accuracy.
FB page JohnRey Tv published on March 12 the video compilation carrying four versions of the misleading clip, and two of these played twice. All showed Cuneta saying:
“Siya ang magiging kauna-unahang presidente na paniniwalaan ng NPA. Eh ‘di pati Abu Sayyaf friends na natin. Wala nang terrorist.”
(She will be the first president the NPA will believe in. We will even be friends with the Abu Sayyaf. There will no longer be terrorists.)
The source of the 11-second misleading clip is the six-hour-long live stream of Robredo’s campaign rally in Bacolod City last March 11. A little over four hours into the stream, Cuneta took the stage to express support for the tandem of her husband Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and his presidential running mate, Robredo.
The “Megastar” mentioned how the proliferation of disinformation about her taught her how to fight back:
“I’m still the same girl. Mas natuto lang lumaban dahil maraming mahilig magkalat ng (I just learned how to fight back because a lot of people love spreading) fake news.”
She then talked about a recent disinformation narrative targeting Robredo:
“Wala na silang masira kay Ma’am Leni. Ang bago: kakampi na daw ng NPA. Sabi ko, that’s not true! Pero akalain mo, kung totoo ‘yon, aba’y siya ang magiging kauna-unahang presidente na paniniwalaan ng NPA. Eh ‘di pati Abu Sayyaf, friends na natin. Wala nang terrorists.”
(There’s nothing more they can use against Ma’am Leni. The latest: she supposedly is an ally of the NPA. I said: That’s not true! But imagine if it were true, she’ll be the first president the NPA will believe in. We will even be friends with the Abu Sayyaf. There will no longer be terrorists.)
The viral clip deliberately excluded the first part of Cuneta’s statement and only used the latter half, which was misleading, to make it appear the singer revealed Robredo’s communist links.
In a March 13 FB post, Robredo belied allegations that she will establish an alliance with the country’s communist groups: “May paandar pang bubuo daw ako ng coalition government kasama ang CPP-NPA-NDF. Para klaro: kasinungalingan ito (There are even talks claiming I will create a coalition government with the CPP-NPA-NDF. Just to be clear: this is a lie).”
A day earlier, the CPP’s chief information officer Marco Valbuena clarified in its statement that neither the CPP nor the National Democratic Front (NDF) “has forged any agreement with any of the political parties running in the May 2022 elections.”
JohnRey Tv’s misleading video has been viewed 6.8 million times, garnering over 190,000 reactions, 46,000 comments, and 97,000 shares.
Social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle said more than 12.9 million netizens may have viewed the post. Traffic was most likely from JohnRey Tv itself, and the public group FOREVER DAWN ZULUETA and FB page Kinigtot TV.
JohnRey Tv was created in March 2019.