VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Panelo wrong on Uson’s party-list

Read this fact check in Filipino

Contrary to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s claim, Mocha Uson’s losing party-list AA-Kasosyo is not a “new party-list.”

STATEMENT

AA-Kasosyo, whose first nominee is former Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, did not win any seat in Congress.

The group, representing entrepreneurship, “especially for overseas Filipino workers,” ranked 72nd out of 134 party-lists with 126,834 votes or only 0.46% of total votes in the party-list race, based on 165 out of 167 certificates of canvass received.

A week prior to the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) proclamation of winning candidates, Panelo said he could not believe Uson’s party-list lost in the polls. The presidential spokesperson suspects Uson may have been “overconfident, considering she has five million followers on Facebook.”

He then added:

“Ano bang party-list niya in the first place?...That’s another thing nga pala…If it’s a new party-list, talagang mahirap (What is her party-list in the first place?..That’s also another thing...if it’s a new partylist, it is really hard.)”
Source: Philstar.com, “Panelo surprised Mocha Uson’s partylist lost in 2019 midterm polls.” May 16, 2019, watch from 1:04 to 1:23

FACT

AA-Kasosyo first ran and lost in the 2007 elections. The group won one seat in 2010, filled by former Representative Solaiman Pangandaman.

Solaiman was replaced in July 2011 by his brother, former Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, because he was migrating to the United States, according to news reports.

During Nasser’s term, AA-Kasosyo was linked to the P10-billion “pork barrel scam” allegedly masterminded by Janet Napoles.

When Uson was asked about the controversial history of her party in a brief interview in the Comelec on Dec. 7, Uson said “everyone is tainted,” adding other (party-list groups) are “terrorist sympathizers.”


Sources

Rappler, #PHVOTE 2019: THE PARTY-LIST RACE

Philstar, 'Mocha party-list' might have fared better, Panelo says of Uson's poll loss, May 16, 2019

Presidential Communications Operations Office website, Interview with Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo, May 15, 2019

House of Representatives website, Roster of Philippine Legislators

Commission on Elections website, Election results, May 14, 2007

Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism website, And the party-list nominees are…, May 7, 2007

I-Site 2007 Election Files, List of Nominees of Accredited Party-List Groups, May 8, 2007

I-Site 2007 Election Files, 1-Utak to ATS, May 8, 2007

GMA News Online, Comelec bares names of party-list nominees, May 4, 2007

Inquirer.net, Uson to run under party-list group linked to pork barrel scam, Oct. 16, 2018

Rappler, Mocha Uson's party linked to pork barrel scam, Oct. 15, 2018

The United States Department of Justice, U.S. Seeks to Recover $12.5 Million Obtained from High-Level Corruption in the Philippines, July 14, 2015

Rappler, U.S. indicts Napoles family for money laundering, Aug. 1, 2018

ABS-CBN News, Napoles, 5 others indicted for int'l money laundering, conspiracy, bribery, Aug. 1, 2018


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

(VERA Files is a part of Tsek.ph, a collaborative fact-checking initiative by the academe and the media for the 2019 Philippine midterm elections.)

FOR FURTHER READING

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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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