‘I believe in second chances’: Lorenzana seeks reinstatement of 2 generals sacked over erroneous Red list
MANILA, Philippines—Two generals sacked over an erroneous list of University of the Philippines (UP) alumni who had become communist guerrillas had been recommended for reinstatement by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Lorenzana said after “exhaustively” studying the case, it was found that the two generals—Maj. Gen. Alex Luna and Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo—were “not directly responsible” for the publication of the unverified list, which claimed that several now prominent individuals, who graduated from UP, had joined New People’s Army (NPA).
Luna was Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deputy chief of staff of intelligence while Arevalo was deputy chief of staff for civil-military operations.
“I believe in second chances,” said Lorenzana. “Especially if they were just dragged into the shortcoming and mistake of others,” he said.
“Let’s give them a new change to prove their loyalty to duty,” Lorenzana said.
The two officers, however, would not be entirely cleared of liability and had been punished under the principle of command responsibility.
“Their track records would show that they have always performed their duties conscientiously and competently,” Lorenzana said, but warning that a similar case should not happen again.
Luna was immediately fired by Lorenzana himself after the release of the erroneous list last January, while Arevalo went on leave before he was relieved of his post.
The list of the names of UP alumni who supposedly died or were arrested in clashes with security forces was published on the social media page of Arevalo’s office last January. The list originated from Luna’s office.
The AFP earlier ordered an investigation of the case.
The erroneous list further heightened tension over the Department of National Defense’s decision to terminate an agreement with UP, signed in 1989, which was drawn to prevent police or military from targeting student leaders or teacher activists for their political beliefs.
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