NPA list aftermath: General in charge of AFP social media accounts sacked
MANILA, Philippines—Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay has removed deputy chief of staff for civil military operations (J7) commander Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo from his post while an investigation is ongoing on a false list of New People’s Army members that Arevalo’s unit had posted on social media.
Arevalo earlier asked permission to go on a leave of absence pending the investigation but Gapay, who commended the “magnanimity” of Arevalo, decided to fire him from the unit as well, according to AFP spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo.
Last week, the AFP Information Exchange shared on its social media pages a list of alleged University of the Philippines graduates who were killed or captured in military operations. The list contained names of professionals and lawyers who had not been NPA members.
Arevalo, whose unit handles the social media accounts, had issued an apology for the blunder.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana sacked Maj. Gen. Alex Luna, the deputy chief of staff of intelligence (J2), whose unit was the source of the erroneous list posted by J7 on its social media accounts.
The deputies at Luna and Arevalo’s offices were designated as acting commanders in the meantime.
Gapay ordered an investigation last Jan. 25 “to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.”
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