‘Just following orders’ just won’t cut it in military—MalacañangPhilippine Daily Inquirer
Military officers cannot dodge responsibility for having committed immoral acts by saying that they were “just following orders.”
If it’s an immoral order, a soldier can and should disobey it, said Malacañang on Sunday, scoffing at Senator Antonio Trillanes’ defense of fugitive retired Major General Jovito Palparan.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda disagreed with Trillanes’ statement last week that Palparan was “just following orders” from his superiors who, the senator said, should be the ones prosecuted and not the former officer.
“Are you trying to say that Palparan could not be held accountable because he was just following orders?” Lacierda said in an interview over government radio dzRB.
Lacierda said Palparan was “certainly aware of the moral precepts of an order.”
“If he feels that an order is immoral, he has the individual decision to disobey an immoral order,” he said.
Lacierda said the just-following-orders defense, the same defense put up by German military officers who were tried for mass murder after World War II, was dismissed in Nuremberg.
In an interview with Bandera, a sister publication of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Trillanes had said the opinion of Palparan in the military was that “he just did his job.”
“Why is he being persecuted if he only did his job?” asked Trillanes, who was detained during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for being one of the leaders of a group of military rebels who occupied Oakwood apartments in Makati City and called for her resignation over issues of corruption. Christine O. Avendaño
Originally posted: 9:33 pm | Sunday, July 22nd, 2012
Tags: Antonio Trillanes IV , Crime , Edwin Lacierda , enforced disappearance , fugitives , Government , Human rights , human rights violations , illegal detention , Jovito Palparan , Justice , Karen Empeño , Kidnapping , law , Malacañang , Military , News , retired major generals , Senate , Senator Antonio Trillanes , Sherlyn Cadapan , torture