Former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. was not the founding leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), contrary to a claim revived by senatorial aspirant and suspended lawyer Larry Gadon.

The CPP was founded by Jose Maria Sison on Dec. 26, 1968 and the NPA, its armed wing, was established by Sison and Bernabé Buscayno on March 29, 1969.

Sison said in his 2010 interview with historian Lisandro Claudio there was no formal alliance between Aquino and the CPP-NPA. He added they were “informal and practical cooperators against the Marcos regime from late 1968 onwards up to his assassination.”

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FactRakers is a Philippines-based fact-checking initiative of journalism majors at the University of the Philippines-Diliman working under the supervision of Associate Professor Yvonne T. Chua of the University of the Philippines’ Journalism Department. Associate Professor Ma. Diosa Labiste, also of the Journalism Department, serves as editorial consultant.

The name of the initiative, coined from the words “fact” and “raker,” is inspired by the term “muckrakers,” first used in the early 1900s by American president Theodore Roosevelt to express his annoyance at progressive, reform-minded journalists at the time.