FALSE: Comelec disqualifies 5 progressive party-list groups before election day
CLAIM: The Commission on Elections (Comelec) supposedly disqualified 5 progressive party-lists under the Makabayan bloc days before election day on Monday, May 13.
Those allegedly disqualified were Kabataan party-list, Gabriela party-list, Bayan Muna party-list, Anakpawis party-list, and Act-Teachers party-list.
Different versions of the claim have been spreading online.
On May 11, Facebook pages Dahil Kay Juan at Para Kay Juan and Manilakbayad posted a version of the graphic with a “breaking news” label. It contained logos of each party-list group. It was shared over 1,000 times with 700 reactions, and 100 comments, as of writing.
Facebook page Diego Pagbabago posted another version of the graphic with a text that reads:
“Disqualified! Yan ang hatol ng COMELEC sa limang party-lists na tatakbo sana ngayong halalan 2019. Ang kadahilanan ng COMELEC sa pag suspinde sa limang partylist ay dahil sa aktibo nitong pakikilahok upang pabagsakin ang gobyerno. Ang pagdisqualify ay nag-ugat sa isang petisyon na inihain ni Angel Aguilar sa COMELEC upang kanselahin ang rehistro ng anim na Partylist.”
(Disqualified! That is the final decision of Comelec for 5 party-lists running in the 2019 elections. The reason why Comelec suspended these 5 party-lists is due to their active participation in trying to take down the government. The disqualification was caused by the petition filed by Angel Aguilar to Comelec to cancel the registration of 6 party-lists.)
It also said that despite being disqualified, the party-lists' names will still appear on the ballot since they were suspended after the ballots were already printed. Voting for them is supposedly useless since they were already “disqualified.”
This particular version of the claim has already been taken down but was shared almost 50 times since its posting.
The claim was sent to Rappler’s e-mail for checking. Others were spotted through Crowdtangle.
The facts: The Comelec has made no official announcement on the disqualification of these party-lists nor any of their nominees for the elections. The party-list groups have also denied being disqualified.
A petition for the cancellation of the registration of these party-lists was indeed filed by one Angela Aguilar on April 26. However, the Comelec has yet to release a decision on the petition. On May 13, Rappler sought the comment of Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez about this matter. Jimenez said the claim was "fake news."
“Lumang style na 'yon (That's old style)," Jimenez added, referring to the practice of spreading black propaganda about “disqualified” candidates.
Aguilar's petition claimed that these party-list groups and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares are linked with the CPP-NPA. Aguilar claims to be a former member of the New People's Army (NPA), the armed unit of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). He also claims to be a member of the Kilusan at Alyansa ng mga Dating Rebelde (KADRE) and ACT member.
The party-list groups mentioned in the posts posted official statements on their respective Facebook pages on May 12 denying that they have been disqualified.
ACT Teachers Party-list called the claim “black propaganda."
Bayan Muna Party-list urged the public not to believe the claim.
Kabataan Party-list denounced the message as a “desperate attack of the Duterte regime.”
Gabriela Party-list called on their followers to fight the lies and fight for the truth.
The claim did not only circulate on social media, but also via text messages.
Anakpawis Party-list posted a screenshot of a text message containing that same claim.
This claim was also fact-checked and rated as FALSE by University of the Philippines Journalism Department and VERA Files, both partners in the Tsek.ph collaborative fact-checking initiative which includes Rappler and other newsrooms and academic partners.
This is not the only claim that Rappler fact-checked concerning the supposed disqualification or withdrawal cases of candidates this 2019 elections. On the eve of the elections, Rappler also fact checked an article posted on a dubious website claiming that a candidate for district representative in Antique has withdrawn his candidacy. (READ: FALSE: Exequiel Javier 'withdraws' congressional bid in Antique) – Glenda Marie Castro/Rappler.com
Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.
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