FALSE: Photo of Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago attending NPA anniversary
Claim: A photo shows Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago at the mountain of Barangay Puray, Rodriguez, Rizal attending the 51st anniversary of the New People's Army (NPA).
The claim was made by Facebook page Stop Lumad Killings on March 30. The post had a graphic of a photo of Elago on a mountaintop with the text, "Nasa bundok pala si Sarah Elago para mag-attend ng NPA anniversary. Kaya pala missing-in-action siya sa panahon ng COVID-19 pandemic (Sarah Elago was apparently at the mountain to attend the NPA anniversary. So that's why she was missing-in-action during the COVID-19 pandemic)."
The post also claimed that Elago attended the NPA anniversary to take refuge from the coronavirus outbreak.
As of writing, the post has been shared 155 times. The Facebook page has over 1,500 followers.
A reader sent the claim to Rappler for verification.
The facts: The photo of Elago on the mountaintop was not taken on March 29. It was part of a tweet that Elago herself posted on March 1, weeks before the March 29 NPA anniversary.
In her March 1 tweet, Elago said, "Since we reached Mt. Binutasan’s summit at 577 meters above sea level, 577 hygiene kits will be distributed to families affected by Taal eruption! Mabuhay po sa She Decides PH, kasama ng Trail Adventours sa pag-oorganisa ng simbolikong aktibidad na ito (Cheers to She Decides PH, along with Trail Adventours, for organizing this symbolic activity)!"
Elago's tweet was retweeted a couple of hours later on the same day by the SheDecides Philippines account, quote-tweeting it with the caption: "Thank you Cong. Sarah Elago for standing up and speaking out for women and girls!"
Since we reached Mt. Binutasan’s summit at 577 meters above sea level, 577 hygiene kits will be distributed to families affected by Taal eruption!— Sarah Elago (@sarahelago) March 1, 2020
Mabuhay po sa She Decides PH, kasama ng Trail Adventours sa pag-oorganisa ng simbolikong aktibidad na ito!#newnormal #shedecides pic.twitter.com/ioBtHKx5Bf
Elago also denied the claim in a Facebook post, saying she climbed the mountain with other advocates to support the donation of hygiene kits to those affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.
"Ako po ay sumusunod sa patakaran ng quarantine nang makumpirma na ang nilahukan kong House Committee on Health Hearing ay kung saan dumalo rin bilang resource speaker ang DOH director na naging positibo sa COVID-19," Elago said.
(I have been following the quarantine guidelines since the House Committee on Health hearing I attended was confirmed to be the same one that the Department of Health director who tested positive for COVID-19 attended as a resource speaker.)
"I am neither CPP-NPA nor missing-in-action," she added.
Following the March 1 climb, Elago also made a few public appearances in Metro Manila, including a Women's Month event at the University of the Philippines Diliman on March 6 and House hearings on March 11. Her presence at a March 11 House hearing was also mentioned in a CNN report.
She also joined a roundtable discussion at Rappler on March 12 (ROUNDTABLE: Women take charge in the House of Representatives).
This was not the first time Elago was made the subject of false claims. Another claim also circulated saying Elago tested positive for the coronavirus. (READ: FALSE: Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago tests positive for coronavirus). – Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com
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