VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Post claiming Elago wants to abolish ‘hindrances to CPP, NPA’ MISLEADS

Facebook (FB) page Filipino Community claimed in a Jan. 28 post that Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago called for the sacking of several military men and Cabinet members and the removal of those opposing the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its militant arm, the New People’s Army (NPA).

This is a malicious spin on an actual statement made by Elago.

Earlier that day, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana fired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deputy chief of staff for intelligence Major Gen. Alex Luna for publishing a faulty list that tagged several University of the Philippines (UP) alumni as members of the NPA.

In reaction, Elago said: “Bukod kay intel chief Maj. Gen. Luna, hindi ba dapat na ring bumaba o tanggalin sina Lorenzana, Parlade at Esperon, at buwagin na ang NTF-ELCAC (Apart from intel chief Major Gen. Luna, shouldn’t Lorenzana, Parlade and Esperon also step down or get fired, and the NTF-ELCAC disbanded)?”

Copies of the statement can be found in FB posts by Elago’s partylist, as well as news organizations News5, One News and Philstar.com.

The two other persons the congresswoman referred to were Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr. and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, while NTF-ELCAC is the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

The call for the removal of the military men, Elago said, is not only because of the faulty list but also for their red-tagging that presents “a danger to security and human rights.” The congresswoman also said the task force regularly posts “fake quotes” on its social media pages and “smears the image of outspoken youth and students.”

Red-tagging refers to the branding and harassment or persecution of someone based on known or suspected communist sympathies.

FB page Filipino Community, however, made it appear that Elago made her call in a bid to remove the “hindrances” to the CPP and NPA.

Its post used an old photo of Elago during a protest and added this inaccurate text: “SARAH ELAGO PINAPATANGGAL SA AFP SINA MAJOR GEN LUNA, LORENZANA, PARALDE (sic) AT ESPERON AT BUWAGIN ANG MGA HUMAHADLANG SA CPP-NPA (Sarah Elago wants to remove from AFP Major Gen. Luna, Lorenzana, Parlade and Esperon and to disband those who hinder the CPP-NPA).”

A netizen also screen-grabbed the FB page’s misleading post, and uploaded it on the public FB group SUPPORT GENERAL PARLADE AND ERIC. It now has over 1,500 interactions.

Filipino Community, created on Sept. 6, 2020, has more than 1,100 followers who could have seen the post. It also invited its readers to click on a link, which led to the site Filipino Community News (filipinocommunity.news). But none of their stories had anything to do with Elago, AFP or communist groups.

The misleading post continues to circulate on social media, nearly a week after Lorenzana fired Luna.


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

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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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