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At a glance
- Claim: The late senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was a key organizer of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
- Rating: FALSE
- The facts: While Ninoy Aquino was not openly hostile to the CPP, there was no evidence to support the claim that he helped organize the CPP-NPA or the MNLF.
- Why we fact-checked this: Former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile made this claim in a Facebook statement on June 16, 2021.
In a statement posted on Facebook on June 16, 2021, former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile claimed that the late senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was a key “organizer” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), it’s armed wing the National People’s Army (NPA), and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
This claim is false.
The founder of the CPP-NPA is Jose Maria Sison, while the founder of the MNLF is Nur Misuari. There is no proof that Aquino helped organize either organization.
Enrile’s original statement named Sison and Musuari alongside Aquino.
In 2010, Sison denied that Aquino helped organize the CPP-NPA. In an interview with GMA News, he stated that “Ninoy had no idea then that I and others were preparing for the [reestablishment] of the CPP and the founding of the NPA.”
The late senator was not included in the “Brief Review of the History” of the party, which it published in 1988. In Sison’s 2018 article, where he recounted the beginnings of the party and its “great achievements,” Aquino was not mentioned.
In the same 2010 interview, however, Sison conceded that Aquino was not openly hostile to the CPP. Sison and Aquino knew each other personally and “were informal and practical cooperators against the Marcos regime.”
The United States-based Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) names Nur Misuari as the founding chairman of the MNLF. Aquino is also never mentioned as being involved in the founding of the organization.
Claims that Aquino founded the MNLF has been made in relation to a dispute the Marcos administration had with the Malaysian government over Sabah Island. Past claims stated that Aquino collaborated with Malaysia to try and topple the Marcos dictatorship. He supposedly promised to drop the Philippines’ Sabah claim if he became president. There was also a hoax that Aquino “died a Malaysian citizen,” contributing to false claims that he helped with the founding of the MNLF. – Jose Atienza/Rappler.com
Jose Atienza is a Rappler intern. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.
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