HOAX: CHR chair says 'rights of NPA rebels should not be violated'
Claim: Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Chito Gascon supposedly said that New People's Army (NPA) rebels should be safe and their rights must not violated.
Facebook user Jay Gallego Lee posted the claim on December 5. Since then, it has gotten at least 20 reactions, 6 comments, and 25 shares.
The full quote reads:
Yung karapatan ng NPA dapat kong bantayan. Kawawa naman ang mga rebelde, kahit mang ambush sila ng militar, pumatay ng mga katutubo, manggahasa, sunugin ang kanayunan, mangulimbat, mangikil sa mga tao. Kailangan masiguro ko na ligtas sila at ang kanila human rights ay hindi naba violate. Hindi sila dapat maapi.
The claim was also posted by pro-Duterte Facebook pages "President Mayor Duterte of the Philippines in Negros" and "PUGAD ng AGILA."
This post was sent by a reader to Rappler for verification.
The facts: There is no such quote from Gascon. Lee, the user who posted the claim, also did not provide proof or a source. He also did not respond to Rappler's Facebook message asking for proof supporting his claim.
Gascon denied making the statement. "I never said that," he told Rappler via text message, adding that "the quote is a work of fiction."
There are also no news reports containing the quote.
Negative comments against Gascon in reaction to the claim indicate that other Facebook users may have been misled into believing that the CHR chair really made the statement.
The CHR chair said the meme has been circulating since he questioned the arrest of the so-called "Talaingod 18" in late November.
"They are peddling a line that because I questioned that action by state authorities who they claim to be members of the NPA that therefore I am coddling [the] communists," Gascon said.
The "Talaingod 18" are former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo, ACT Teachers Representative France Castro, and 16 others. They were arrested on November 28 for alleged kidnapping and trafficking of minors in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, charges that Ocampo and Castro both denied.
All 18 were released on December 1 after posting bail of P1,452,600 in total.
This is not the first time Rappler has checked a false claim involving the CHR and Gascon. A claim surfaced in August alleging that the Commission on Audit "flagged" Gascon's 3 China trips worth P6.7 million in July. – Miguel Imperial/Rappler.com
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