VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Sarah Elago DID NOT say she will support NPA ‘if need be’

Calling for the ouster of Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago, a Facebook (FB) user reposted on July 16 a fake graphic with a quote from the solon saying she will support the New People’s Army (NPA) — the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)’s armed wing — "if need be” and that people should not care if she joins their ranks.

This is not true. Elago has made no such statement. There are no records of her saying so in news articles or in any of her or her partylist’s social media accounts.

The fabricated text, filled with style errors, reads: “Hindi ako NPA! Pero kung kinakailangan Susuportahan ko sila. at wala kayong Pakialam! kung sakaling sumali ako sa kanila. Ang importante ay suportado kami ng mga presidente at ng ibang Guro namin para makapagrally dito sa UP at sa ibang Unibersidad. #HINDI KAMI TERORISTA (I am not an NPA! But if needed, I will support them and you should not care if I join them. What is important is that we are supported by our presidents and teachers to rally here in UP and in other universities. #WE ARE NOT TERRORISTS).” It also bore a logo of Kabataan Partylist.

That she is not an NPA was reiterated by Elago in a tweet in August 2019 where she debunked the exact same quote card. She also clarified that the quoted statement did not come from her. Neither was it published by her partylist. She asked the public to report similar quote cards and encouraged them to fact-check information they see online.

Adding to its duplicity, the post maliciously used as one of its background images a July 2017 Getty Images photo of Jaime Padilla, NPA spokesperson in the Southern Luzon region.

The image of the student protesters in the bottom of the graphic has been circulating as early as 2018, carried by satirical website Adobo Chronicles.

The spurious quote card has been circulating as early as March 2018, posted by FB page We Support AFP, accusing Elago as “one of the tentacles” of CPP founder Jose Maria Sison.

The July 16 version has since received more than 250 comments and over 650 shares. It has been re-shared in public FB groups Raffy Tulfo In Action Supporters and Go Bong Go.

The latest fake quote card surfaced a day after it was announced that Elago was one of five recipients of the One Young World Politician of the Year Award, given to the “most impactful” politicians around the globe for “using their positions to have a positive impact on young people in their communities and countries.”


(This fact check was produced by a student from the University of the Philippines Diliman who is doing his internship with VERA Files.)


(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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