FACT CHECK: TV host claims without basis that majority of Martial Law atrocities were committed by the CPP-NPA-NDF

Feb. 13, 2023

CLAIM:  In a segment by SMNI News entitled “Laban Kasama ang Bayan” streamed live last January 30, Lorraine Badoy, host and former spokesperson for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, claimed majority of the atrocities during Martial Law were committed by members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

“Martial Law was a constitutional move by then President Ferdinand Marcos that protected our country from becoming a communist state, and most of the atrocities – 80 something percent – that were committed during Martial Law were committed by the CPP-NPA-NDF,” she said.

In the same episode, Badoy and fellow host Jeffrey Celiz criticized the letter allegedly sent by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan chair Carol Araullo to SMNI. The letter disproved the previous claims of Badoy and Celiz that Araullo was part of the urban operative of the CPP-NPA-NDF. A portion of the letter explained that Araullo was a political prisoner and a Martial Law torture victim. In response, Badoy and Celiz suggested that Araullo deserved her arrest and torture as she was part of a rebel group.


FACTS: There is no basis that majority of the Martial Law atrocities during the time of Marcos were committed by the CPP-NPA-NDF.

According to Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission, the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board (HRVCB), an independent and quasi-judicial body, had already provided that official list of more than 11,000 victims of the 1972-1986 Martial Law. 

Republic Act No. 10368, the law that created HRVCB, defines a “Human Rights Violations Victim” as “a person whose human rights were violated by persons acting in an official capacity and/or agents of the State as defined herein.”

Under the same law, “Persons Acting in an Official Capacity and/or Agents of the State” does not cover persons or groups of persons not acting with authorization, support or acquiescence of the State during the Marcos regime. Therefore, Martial Law atrocities officially recognized by the Philippine government could not have been committed by the CPP-NPA-NDF.

The only existing possible support to Badoy’s incorrect claim is a blog article by Rigoberto Tiglao published in the Manila Times where he wrote that some 77% of human rights victims killed during Martial Law were very likely casualties of the NPA, the Moro National Liberation Front, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. However, such a claim is also false, as it is based merely on the location of the killings and disappearances, which Tiglao labeled as “epicenters of communist insurgency.”

Granting for the sake of argument that such killings and disappearances occurred in epicenters of communist insurgency, it does not logically follow that the same atrocities were committed by the CPP-NPA-NDF.

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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