At a glance:
- Claim: Senator Risa Hontiveros was once a member of Anakbayan or Gabriela Women’s Party, and she even served as chairwoman. She was also a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
- Rating: FALSE
- The facts: Senator Risa Hontiveros was never a member of Anakbayan, Gabriela, or the CPP-NPA. She is the current national chairperson of Akbayan and had been a representative of Akbayan in Congress from 2004 to 2010 as well as a founding member since 1998.
- Why we fact-checked this: The claim that Hontiveros was a member of Anakbayan or Gabriela was made in multiple Facebook posts, notably from Facebook user Lovell Paras Canceran whose posts have a combined 1,254 reactions, 361 comments, and 1,235 shares as of writing.
A number of social media posts claim that Senator Risa Hontiveros was the former chairperson of Anakbayan and Gabriela, and that she is a member of the CPP-NPA.
On December 18, Facebook user Lovell Paras Canceran had a post which stated: “Risa Hontiveros Former Chairwoman Anakbayan Party-list and Gabriela.” As of writing, the post had 140 reactions, 37 comments, and 41 shares. Canceran also previously mentioned that Hontiveros is a member of Anakbayan or Gabriela in 3 other Facebook posts from October to November.
A Facebook post from the group “Support ntf-elcac” on December 18, 2020, with 154 reactions, 32 comments, and 11 shares as of writing, also claimed that Hontiveros was once Anakbayan chair.
Another post on November 3 made on the Facebook group “ANAK NG AGILA SARA DU30 PARA 2022” said that Hontiveros is a member of the CPP-NPA. As of writing, the post has 114 reactions, 106 comments, and 14 shares.
These claims are false.
Through her spokesperson Lui Belmonte, Hontiveros denied having been a member of “the Makabayan bloc, Anakbayan, Gabriela, or CPP-NPA-NDF.” Also, there are no reports by legitimate media organizations or information in Hontiveros’ Senate biography that confirm she was once a member of those organizations.
Hontiveros is currently the national chairperson of Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party and has been one of its founding members since 1998. She was a two-term representative in Congress for Akbayan from 2004 to 2010 before running for a senatorial post.
The names of the organizations Akbayan and Anakbayan have been confused at least once before.
In August 2019, Tom Villarin, who is a member of Akbayan, was listed as an Anakbayan member in a Department of Justice summons and in the associated complaint. The article further noted that “Akbayan and Anakbayan come from two factions of the Philippine Left and have had a nasty public feud.”
Akbayan describes itself as a broad-based “democratic socialist political party,” while Anakbayan describes itself as a “comprehensive national democratic mass organization of the Filipino youth”.
This article was written by a volunteer of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program, a 5-week exclusive and hands-on training on detecting, investigating, and verifying online misinformation and disinformation.
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