Panelo: Controversial photo of rebel returnees not ‘manipulated’

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 11:20 AM December 29, 2019
army photoshop image former rebels

Netizens have pointed out that the image of people standing in line in this photo release from the Philipine Army’s 9th Infantry Division was manipulated to represent the rebel surrenderees in Masbate, leading many to question whether the other information on the NPA surrenders in Bicol were true.

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Sunday said the photo of supposed communist rebels in Masbate who surrendered to the government recently was not manipulated.

Instead, Panelo explained, there were two photos that were combined in a collage.


“I was just talking to (Defense) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. The explanation to him was, there were two pictures combined. Hindi naman minanipulate. Kinollage, pinagsama yung dalawang picture. (It was collaged, the  two [photos] were both authentic and combined),” he said in an interview over Radyo Inquirer 990 AM.

“The two (photos) were combined. That’s not manipulation,” Panelo insisted.


The military was under fire after it released to the media the supposed “manipulated” photo of rebel returnees in Masbate on December 26.

The photo showed a lineup of people with blurred faces and a table full of rifles.

The Philippine Army unit involved, through its spokesperson Major Ricky Aguilar, has owned up to the mistake and apologized, saying they photoshopped the picture “for the sole purpose of ensuring the safety of the lives of the [former rebels] and their families.

Despite the apology, Lorenzana ordered on Saturday a probe into the manipulated photo of rebel returnees in Masbate.

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TAGS: 9th Infantry Division, communists, edited, manipulated, Masbate, Military, New People's Army, NPA, Philippine Army, Rebel, Ricky Aguilar, Salvador Panelo, surrenderees, Viber photo
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