Lawyer wants AFP to apologize for including him in NPA list
MANILA, Philippines — Lawyer Rafael A.L. Aquino is demanding an apology from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for including him in a list of University of the Philippines students who were allegedly recruited in the New People’s Army (NPA).
The list, which was posted on the AFP website, has been deleted.
Aquino, a graduate of the UP College of Law, said in a statement that he was “maliciously included” in the the list of UP students who were allegedly captured and killed after joining the communist rebel’s armed wing.
“With the others in the list, I am owed an apology by the AFP in whose website this list appeared. In these perilous times, this malicious inclusion in such a list is hazardous to our health and safety,” said Aquino, a partner of law firm Santos Parungao Aquino and a member of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG).
He also pointed out that he was not involved in any activities of the NPA. Aquino, a partner of law firm Santos Parungao Aquino, also said he was never captured nor killed.
“I was a UP student for twelve straight years, from high school to law school; there was no opportunity for me to be associated in any way with the New People’s Army. Not being NPA to begin with, I was never captured by the military. I also did not have the opportunity to be killed by the military or anyone else; I am very much alive,” he said.
Currently, Aquino said he is included in the team of lawyers to represent the petitioners questioning the legality of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
After the scrapping of the 1989 UP-Department of Defense accord, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he would be willing to have a dialogue with the university if it could explain the deaths of some students in clashes between the NPA and the military.
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