By EMILY VITAL
MANILA — Party list groups under the Makabayan coalition denounced the fake information circulating these past few days claiming that they and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares have been disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
An image of a fake Comelec resolution dated May 6, 2022 was posted online by at least two Facebook accounts stating that Colmenares, Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, ACT Teachers Partylist, Kabataan Partylist and Gabriela Women’s Party have been disqualified. The fake resolution bears the seal of Comelec as well as signatures of Commissioners Socorro Inteng, Aimee Ferolino and Aimee Torrefranca.
Comelec has denied issuing the said resolution.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said they are certain that the NTF-ELCAC is behind the disinformation, adding that the agency has been consistent in red-tagging progressive party list groups. “[It is] nothing but a pathetic desperate act by anti-democratic and fascists minions of NTF-ELCAC,” Zarate said. “It aims to frustrate the victory of progressive candidates.”
Bayan Muna’s first nominee Teddy Casiño noted that the two Facebook accounts spreading the disinformation echo the statements of National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC).
Makabayan bloc denounces the “fake news” circulating in social media that Neri Colmenares & their partylist groups have been disqualified. @ArleneBrosas calls on @COMELEC to investigate the incident. pic.twitter.com/p8ZyNTS7AT
— Bulatlat (@bulatlat) May 8, 2022
ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro and Anakpawis National President Ariel Casilao called on Comelec to investigate the incident, and to hold to account those behind the fake resolution. Casilao said the incident is an insult to the integrity of the commission.
Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas said that flyers claiming the same false information were also distributed in several areas.
Earlier, electoral watchdog Kontra Daya issued its fact-check on the same claims.
“The Comelec has not disqualified any of the Makabayan party list groups,” Kontra Daya said. “Gabriela and Kabataan party-list groups face petitions for disqualification in the Comelec but these are still pending. The Makabayan bloc faced similar disqualification cases in the 2019 elections but they were junked with finality by the first division of Comelec for lack of merit.”
Meanwhile, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago said they will consider filing charges against the peddlers of disinformation.