AFP’s Civil-Military Office apologizes for list of UP alumni who ‘joined’ NPA
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) J7 or Civil-Military Operations Office has apologized for posting on Facebook a list of former University of the Philippines (UP) students who allegedly joined the communist New People’s Army (NPA).
According to a statement posted on the Facebook page of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Information Exchange, the Office of the J7 is already conducting an investigation regarding why and how the inaccurate list was published.
It also apologized to anyone inadvertently affected by the Facebook post that went viral.
“We sincerely apologize for those who were inadvertently affected by inconsistencies regarding the List of Students who joined the NPA (Died or Captured) that was posted in the AFP Information Exchange Facebook account. That article has since been immediately taken down or deleted from our social media accounts,” the statement read.
“The Office of the J7, AFP is already conducting an internal investigation as to how the list got published. Personnel who are responsible will be held to account,” it added.
Statement of Apology from AFP Information ExchangeWe sincerely apologize for those who were inadvertently affected by…
The page also assured the public that it is reviewing protocols to avoid similar incidents in the future.
“We want to assure the public that we are now reviewing our processes and procedures to ensure that similar incidents will not happen again in the future,” the AFP Information Exchange noted.
“The Office of J7, AFP remains committed to providing and disseminating information on social media platforms that will contribute to a better Philippines for all,” it added.
Days after the Department of National Defense (DND) terminated its agreement with UP that disallowed unauthorized military and police presence, the AFP Information Exchange posted 27 names of former UP students who allegedly joined the NPA.
While some of the individuals mentioned were reported to have died in clashes — although unconfirmed whether they were UP students or NPA members — a lot of netizens cried foul over the inclusion of several public personalities and other private persons.
Some of the names that were on the list include that of late activist and film director Behn Cervantes, Carlos Palanca playwright awardee Liza Magtoto, business journalist Roel Landigin, former Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Roan Libarios, and Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) lawyer Raffy Aquino.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana assured those who were included in the list that the AFP will be apologizing for the misinformation.
“Yes, the AFP will apologize. What reason will they give? I do not know. It’s an unpardonable gaffe,” Lorenzna said.
The recent events unfolded after Lorenzana’s letter to UP President Danilo Concepcion, informing him about the UP-DND accord’s abrogation. While this move was heavily criticized for allegedly trying to intimidate government critics, Lorenzana maintained that he was only working to secure the university from enemies of the state.
Despite drawing flak, Lorenzana said he is willing to sit down and talk with UP authorities.
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