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Claim: Senator Risa Hontiveros is a protector of the CPP-NPA-NDF recruitment in schools.
Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook video, posted on September 7, has gained 320,000 views, 8,000 reactions, and 1,300 shares from a page with 125,000 followers. The same video is posted on YouTube with 22,826 views from a channel with 225,000 subscribers.
The video’s title says: “KADIRI! PROTEKTOR ANG SENADORA?! 16 NA SCHOOL NAPASOK NA NG TER0RIST@!”
(Disgusting! The senator is a protector?! 16 schools infiltrated by terrorists!)
The commentator remarks, “Yung protektor oh (There’s the protector)!” when a clip of Hontiveros appears.
The video was posted as commentary on the senator’s opposition to the Department of Education’s surveillance operations in schools.
The bottom line: Hontiveros had already denied any connection with the rebel group before, proclaiming that she “will not hesitate to speak against the violations of the NPA.”
In 2021, the senator condemned the group over the killing of Nolven and Keith Absalon in Masbate, calling on the rebels to take full responsibility and to “be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Several claims linking Hontiveros – a vocal opposition leader during former president Rodrigo Duterte’s administration – to the NPA have circulated before. Rappler, VERA Files, and Tsek PH have already published fact-checks disputing such rumors.
The Senate biography of Hontiveros does not show that she worked with the NPA in the past. No reports also indicate that the senator has recently supported or protected the NPA and its members from enforcement of the law.
No proof: The video cited unrelated news articles about alleged rebel recruitment in schools. None of the reports mentioned Hontiveros and her supposed involvement with the communist party.
It cited an old article published by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Eastern Mindanao Command about the alleged rebel recruitment of students in the Davao region. The video also mentioned reports from ABS-CBN News and Frontline that cited the Department of Education’s claim about alleged rebel recruitment inside schools. None of these articles provide evidence that supports the claim made in the video.
Claims of recruitment surfaced as the education department justified the increase of confidential and intelligence funds for counter-insurgency during the September 4 Senate hearing on the P758.6-billion DepEd budget proposal for 2024. (READ: Where DepEd’s P150-M confidential funds can be better spent)
Red-Tagged personalities: Rappler has published fact-checks on claims alleging several political personalities working with the CPP-NPA-NDF:
- HINDI TOTOO: Sinabi ni Robredo na may sorpresa siya kasama ng mga komunista sa inagurasyon ni Marcos
- FACT CHECK: Hindi naglaho ang Facebook page ng Kabataan Partylist account ni Manuel
- FACT CHECK: ACT Teachers party list is not an NDF member
– 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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