VERA FILES FACT CHECK: This video DOES NOT show parents rallying at Comelec for Makabayan bloc’s expulsion

An 11-minute video uploaded on Nov. 9 by the YouTube channel PH BREAKING NEWS falsely claimed to show parents protesting in front of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office to get the Makabayan bloc out of Congress.

While the League of Parents of the Philippines (LPP) held such a rally in January, this video of PH BREAKING NEWS is a composite of four clips showing other LPP protests and events. Neither was held at the Comelec’s office; not one called for the progressive bloc’s expulsion.

Its false title read, “ITO PANOORIN mga MAGULANG NAG-RALLY sa COMELEC PARA PATALSIKIN ang MAKABAYAN BLOC sa KONGRESO (Watch this! Parents staged a rally at COMELEC to expel Makabayan bloc from Congress)!”

All clips can be traced to uploads by Facebook (FB) user Liga ng mga Magulang.

The first and second clips—which played for 12 seconds—came from two videos that the FB account posted on Nov. 7. It showed an LPP protest near the Dutch embassy at Paseo de Roxas, Makati, where a flag of the Netherlands was burned. Protesters also called for the deportation of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison, now based in that European country.

The third clip ran for over six minutes and showed an Oct. 29 candle-lighting vigil of LPP at the Boy Scout Circle along Tomas Morato Avenue in Quezon City to commemorate young persons allegedly killed by the New People’s Army (NPA).

In the footage shown, LPP president Arlene Escalante can be heard saying: “[L]abanan natin ang Makabayan Bloc na mga legal front ng mga teroristang ito (Let’s fight the Makabayan Bloc which is a legal front of these terrorists).”

The last clip, uploaded by Liga ng mga Magulang on Nov. 7, shows an Aug. 23, 2019 press conference about LPP's formation. According to news reports, the group was formed by parents—including those whose children were allegedly recruited to take up arms—to protect students from groups allied with the CPP and NPA.

The Makabayan bloc is a coalition of progressive party-lists including Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Kabataan, and Alliance of Concerned Teachers, according to its official FB page.

In October, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon and National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict spokesperson Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr. said members of the bloc are currently under surveillance for alleged ties to communist groups.

The allegation was denied by the Makabayan bloc shortly after. In a statement, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said: “Like his paranoid protege, Gen. Parlade, Esperon is just spouting out lies and fake news but does not present evidence that would stand up in court.”

PH BREAKING NEWS’s spurious video was released days after the Makabayan bloc skipped a Nov. 3 Senate hearing on the intensified red-tagging by military and government officials. It has more than 213,000 views on YouTube and around 2,700 interactions on FB, according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle. The YouTube channel was created in July 2013.

Several hours after PH BREAKING NEWS uploaded its video, YouTube channel LIGHT DATA STUDIO re-uploaded a copy of the video, slightly altered to include its logo, bearing a similar headline and false claim. It has received over 6,100 interactions on FB.


(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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