Fact checks on public officials

FACT CHECK: ACT Teachers party list is not an NDF member

Rappler.com

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FACT CHECK: ACT Teachers party list is not an NDF member
The party list is a member of Makabayan, a political coalition accredited by the Commission on Elections. Rappler has previously published fact checks of false claims involving the bloc.

Claim: The ACT Teachers party list is a member of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF), the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The video from user BEN BARUBAL, posted on April 25, has garnered over 98,000 views and 11,000 likes on YouTube. The video link is also reposted on Facebook, where it has 590 likes and 68 comments from an account with 166,000 followers. 

The Facts: ACT Teachers party list is a member of Makabayan, a political coalition of progressive party-list groups. 

Both the Makabayan bloc and its member organizations are accredited by the Commission on Elections and have been participating in elections since they meet the criteria of Republic Act 7491 or the Party-List System Act. Under Section 6.2 of the law, any organization which “advocates violence or unlawful means to seek its goal” are excluded from registration.

Lacks context: The video cites the 2018 arrest of ACT Teachers Representative France Castro and an excerpt of an old video clip of CPP founder Jose Maria Sison to link the party list to the communist group.

In 2018, Castro and former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo were arrested with 70 others in Davao del Norte. They faced kidnapping and human trafficking charges over the transport of minors from Talaingod town, according to police. 

Castro has clarified that the child trafficking and kidnapping charges have already been dropped for lack of probable cause. (READ: Makabayan condemns ‘illegal’ arrest of Satur Ocampo, France Castro)

The old clip of Sison included in the YouTube video is an excerpt of a longer version in which the CPP founder names several groups – including the “Alliance of Concerned Teachers” – as part of the “legal democratic forces in the Philippines,” but he does not refer to them as members of the NDF. The progressive teachers’ alliance was established in 1982, but it was only in 2009 that the ACT Teachers party list was formed.

Word war with Duterte: ACT Teachers party list has been involved in a word war with Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte. In a statement in March, Duterte called the party list a “fake representative of learners and teachers in Congress,” saying it continues to refuse to “publicly and strongly condemn” attacks by the New People’s Army, the CPP’s armed wing.

Multiple false claims: The Makabayan bloc and its members have consistently denied claims linking them to the communist group. 

In the run-up to the 2022 elections, Rappler published fact-checks on false reports about the bloc: 

– Kyle Marcelino/Rappler.com

Kyle Marcelino is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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