FACT CHECK: Misleading FB post claims Cordillera activist ordered NPA ambush 

Feb. 20, 2023

CLAIM: “Did you know?” post published by Facebook (FB) page Filipino Forum claimed that Cordillera activist Jennifer Awingan-Taggaoa “ordered” the 2022 ambush carried out by communist rebels in Abra where two government soldiers died.

The post’s caption said Awingan-Taggaoa, who was arrested by the police last January 30 at her residence in Baguio City for a rebellion charge, is a high-ranking officer of the Ilocos-Cordillera Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

RATING: Misleading


Awingan-Taggaoa, a research staff of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance, has not been convicted of ordering a New People’s Army (NPA) unit to ambush government troops in Malibcong town, Abra province on October 27, 2022. 

The military implicated her and six other activists in the said NPA ambush.

Lawyer Jose Molintas, Awingan-Taggaoa’s legal counsel, argued “there is no probable cause to indict” the seven charged.

Citing the affidavits from the soldiers who survived the ambush, Molintas said the witness only named two alleged NPA members, and Awingan-Taggaoa and the other accused “were not among those identified as assailants.”

A separate petition to exclude the activists from the rebellion case was filed on February 2 this year. On February 7, Awingan-Taggaoa was released after posting bail.

Initially, the court did not recommend bail for the accused. But lawyers said their clients are accused of being members and not leaders of the CPP, making the rebellion case against them bailable.

Filipino Forum’s FB page, with over 5,000 followers, has a media/news company label. However, most of its contents focus on attacking the underground communist movement or red-tagging progressive individuals and groups.

Davao Today is part of #FactsFirstPH which brings together various sectors that are committed to promoting truth in the public space, and exacting accountability on those who harm it with lies. For those interested to join the initiative, email info@factsfirst.ph.

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