NO BASIS

Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison did not admit to “advising” Vice President Leni Robredo in her presidential bid, contrary to claims circulating on social media.

STATEMENT 

Citing a “statement published in Ang Bayan,” the official publication of the CPP-NPA, reporter Lee Ann P. Ducusin wrote an article titled “Joma Sison admits advising Leni,” published by Journal News Online uploaded on its website, journalnews.com.ph. 

The article stated:

“COMMUNIST Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Ma. Sison on Monday admitted that the party is a key contributor to the campaign of Leni Robredo and he is acting as adviser to her and her spokesperson Barry Gutierrez.”

Source: Journal News Online, Joma admits advising Leni, April 21, 2022

It added that Sison “admitted that he had several phone conversations with Gutierrez where he laid down several pointers on how to initiate a media attack on other presidential candidates, particularly Isko Moreno and Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.”

Journal News Online is a repository of stories from People’s Journal, People’s Tonight, and Women’s Journal. 

The People’s Journal Tonight and journalnews.com.ph belong to the Journal Group of Publications (PJI) owned by the family of the late Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez, an uncle of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle shows that the erroneous article could have reached 5.77 million users. It was shared at least 184 times and earned 22,962 interactions as of April 25. 

VERA Files Fact Check found a similar article dated April 21 on the website of Maharlika TV. Maharlika TV is related to the Maharlika News website, developed by pro-Marcos blogger Maharlika.

The identity of the person or persons behind Maharlika is not publicly available.

FACT

In an email to VERA Files Fact Check, Sison said he has neither been advising Robredo nor consulting with her spokesperson Barry Gutierrez.

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VERA Files is a nonstock, nonprofit independent media organization registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Company Registration No. CN200808072). Founded in March 2008, it is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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