CLAIM: NPA guerrillas were pictured surrendering to the government after CPP founder Joma Sison died
FACTS: In a Facebook post dated December 18 by the FB group Quiet No more, speech bubbles and texts were added to a photo of three NPA fighters who are supposedly reading Manila Bulletin’s (obviously altered) story on Sison’s death. The post was captioned encouraging the guerillas to surrender.
Their caption reads:
“Ano pa inaantay ninyo mga kapatid tamang tama sa kapaskohan ang makapiling ang inyong mga mahal sa buhay ano pang silbi ng kilusan ninyo ngayun? ihh sinundo na si satanas si Joma Sison mula noon hindi pa nanalo mga pinaglalaban ninyo kaya sumuko na at mag balik na sa pamahalaan at mabuhay ng payapa at kompletong salubungin ang kapaskohan (What are you waiting for, siblings? It’s only fitting to be with your loved ones this Christmas. What is the essence of your movement now? Satan already took Joma Sison. Even before, what you’re fighting for never succeeded, so better surrender to the government and live peacefully and welcome Christmas with a complete family).”
However, a simple reverse image search shows that the photo was originally posted by Business Mirror in an article published in November 2016, with the caption:
“In this November 23, 2016 file photo, members of the New People’s Army read a local paper at their guerrilla encampment tucked in the Sierra Madre Mountains southeast of Manila.
The CPP Central Committee stated that its armed wing does not have plans to declare a ceasefire during the holidays.
“As we join the people in solidarity with their holidays and in marking the 54th anniversary of the Party on December 26, and even as we mourn the recent passing away of our beloved comrade Jose Ma. Sison, the NPA is authorized to launch tactical offensives against the fascist enemy of the people.
WHY WE FACT-CHECKED THIS: This is similar to the post-World War II-era pamphlets handed out or flowing into the jungle to early insurgents to surrender albeit now it is dropped into cyberspace.
The AFP said that it wished the NPA would indeed surrender with the death of what they call the “greatest stumbling block” to peace. History will show that ending insurgency would not be that easy.