At least two news outlets associated with the Iglesia ni Cristo have reported a baseless claim that Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Ma. “Joma” Sison is advising and contributing to the presidential campaign of Vice President Leni Robredo.
VERA Files Fact Check has flagged and debunked a similar claim making the rounds on social media as early as April 21. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Claim that CPP founder Joma Sison ‘advises’ Robredo presidential campaign has no basis)
In a segment titled “Mata ng Agila” aired on April 22, Eagle News’ broadcaster Vic De Leon Lima reported that Sison had “admitted” that he has been advising Robredo and her spokesperson Barry Gutierrez:
“Inamin naman ng Communist Party of the Philippines na si Jose Maria Sison na ang kanyang partido ay isang pangunahing kontributor sa kampanya ni Vice President Leni Robredo. Siya rin daw ang tumatayong adviser ng bise presidente, at ng kanyang tagapagsalita na si Barry Gutierrez.
Sa isang pahayag, hinikayat ni Sison lahat ng partisan na magtiyaga at maging matatag sa pagsuporta kay Robredo na nangakong tatayong kasama ang taong bayan para sa paglaban sa mapang-aping sistema.”
(Communist Party of the Philippines [founder] Jose Maria Sison admitted that his party is a primary contributor to the campaign of Vice President Leni Robredo. Sison also acts as adviser to the Vice President and her spokesperson Barry Gutierrez.
(In a statement, Sison urged all party members to work hard and be strong in supporting Robredo, who has promised to join the Filipino people in fighting an oppressive system.)Source: Eagle News, Mata ng Agila, April 22, 2022, watch from 36:00 – 36:33
Lima added that Sison made a statement “centered” on the campaign and strategy of the vice president, which he inadvertently became a part of. He said:
“Pag-amin pa ni Sison ilang beses siyang nakausap sa telepono ni Gutierrez kung saan inilatag niya ang ilang mga punto kung paano simulan ang pag-atake ng midya sa iba pang kandidato sa pagkapangulo, partikular na sina Mayor Isko Moreno at presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos Jr.”
(Sison also admitted that he spoke with Gutierrez on the phone several times where he laid out pointers on how to start a media attack against other presidential candidates, particularly Mayor Isko Moreno and presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos Jr.)Source: watch from 36:47 – 37:11
The video of Eagle News had 6,276 views as of April 25.
A clip of the baseless report was also uploaded on the official YouTube channel of NET25, which has gained 49,098 views. According to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle, it has a potential reach of 368,354 users as of April 25.
The Manila Times referred to the erroneous report in an article posted on April 22.
Eagle News and NET25 are both under the Eagle Broadcasting Corp., which is owned by Theoben Jerdan Orosa and associated with the Iglesia ni Cristo. To date, the religious group has not endorsed any candidate for the May 9 polls.
Sison has clarified in an email to VERA Files Fact Check that he has neither been advising Robredo nor consulting with her spokesperson Barry Gutierrez.
Read the full story on VERA Files Fact Check.