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Robredo studying charges over rumors CPP founder Sison is her adviser

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Robredo studying charges over rumors CPP founder Sison is her adviser
"There is no truth to the talks that Jose Maria Sison is my adviser or part of our campaign. I haven't talked to him yet in person or in any way...," presidential candidate Leni Robredo said on April 23, 2022.
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MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo's legal team is considering filing charges over fake claims that she is being advised by Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison that are spreading through misattributed articles and reports.

Journal News Online first claimed on Friday that Sison had admitted that he was advising Robredo and her campaign spokesperson Barry Gutierrez. The report, which quoted supposed statements in CPP publication Ang Bayan, has been rejected as fake by Sison and by Gutierrez. 

"There is no truth to the talks that Jose Maria Sison is my adviser or part of our campaign. I haven't talked to him yet in person or in any way. I have been repeating that I will not associate myself with individuals or groups who use violence to further their interests," Robredo said in Filipino on Saturday.

"Our lawyers are studying the filing of appropriate charges against those who spread this lie," she added. 

The misattributed Journal News Online article claimed that aside from giving the Robredo campaign advice, the CPP ahd called on "partisans" to support Robredo. The CPP has not endorsed any candidate for president.

Ang Bayan, which is available online, does not carry the alleged statement that the Journal news story quoted.

"There was never such a news item published in Ang Bayan," CPP chief information officer Marco Valbuena said in a statement, adding the "obviously fake news" was meant to maintain the narrative that the communist party is eyeing a coalition with Robredo. 

The narrative is meant to "[consolidate] the support of the anti-communist military and police officers for Marcos" and "[lay] the basis for intensifying acts of suppression against the broad democratic forces." 

In a statement Friday, Sison said he has "not been advising Leni Robredo, although I think that she is a far more qualified candidate for president." He described survey frontrunner Marcos as having "no qualification but to campaign with too much money from the bureaucratic loot of the late unlamented fascist dictator, Ferdinand Sr."

This is not the first attempt to link Robredo and her campaign to the communist armed struggle.

Red-tagging, or linking groups to the communist armed struggle, is a common tactic of goverment agencies and officials who have used this against environmentalists, human rights workers and journalists regardless of ideology. This dangerous practice has been institutionalized in the Philippines, human rights bodies and groups say.

Robredo has been endorsed by the Makabayan bloc of party-lists as well as by labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno, all of which the government claims are "communist fronts."  —Angelica Y. Yang

2022 ELECTIONS

JOMA SISON

LENI ROBREDO

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