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Claim: House Speaker Martin Romualdez is a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA), and political wing National Democratic Front (NDF).
Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook video bearing the claim was posted on January 9 and has 2,500 views, 251 likes, and 95 shares as of writing.
The video shows Jeffrey “Ka Eric” Celiz, an SMNI host who was previously cited in contempt by a House panel for refusing to name his source in relation to an unverified report on Romualdez’s travel spending.
Celiz called out President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for keeping silent about the issue, questioning whether the President is supporting the supposed interference and abuse of power by his cousin – referring to Romualdez – whom Celiz claims is connected with the CPP-NPA-NDF.
The bottom line: There is no proof of Romualdez’s alleged affiliation with the CPP-NPA-NDF. Romualdez is currently president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (LAKAS-CMD) political party, which also has no confirmed ties with the rebel group. The party’s previous chairperson was Vice President Sara Duterte, who has consistently been vocal in her criticism of communist rebels.
Support for peace talks: The video implying Romualdez’s association with the CPP-NPA surfaced after the House Speaker expressed support for Marcos’ move to resume peace talks with the communist group.
“This negotiation is more than just a political maneuver; it is a moral imperative, a chance to mend the fissures that have long divided our nation,” Romualdez said on December 4.
Celiz slammed the suspension orders, saying this aimed to remove “the number one media outlet that reports the truth.” (READ: SMNI’s suspension splits opinion on free speech)
Rappler has already published several fact-checks about SMNI and its hosts:
- FACT CHECK: No court order freed Badoy, Celiz from House detention
- FACT CHECK: No ICC summons issued to ex-President Duterte
- FACT CHECK: Sara Duterte quote card on OVP’s P125-M confidential funds is fake
– 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.
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