AFP to apologize for viral post

Published January 24, 2021, 3:47 PM

by Aaron Recuenco 

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana disclosed Sunday that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will apologize to the personalities it wrongly tagged as captured and slain communist rebels in a post uploaded by the military in its Facebook account and was shared by some of its units.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

The social media post was widely condemned in social media and became an object of ridicule by netizens since the purported list of University of the Philippines (UP) students captured and killed in military operations include former government officials, lawyers, and even a dead multi-awarded director.

Lorenzana’s response appeared to be an acknowledgment of the mistake committed by the military in coming up with the wrong names of slain and captured UP students. He even went to the extent of calling it as an unpardonable gaffe.

“The AFP will apologize. What reason will they give? I don’t know. It’s an unpardonable gaffe,” said Lorenzana.

Some of the Red-tagged UP alumni called out the AFP for the inclusion of their names and denied that they were captured –much more killed – in military operations.

The AFP Facebook post was already taken down but some netizens made screenshots of it, and eventually became the subject of discussions in social media.

Some netizens even questioned the military protocol in gathering accurate information, noting the glaring mistake of the names purported captured and slain UP alumni.

The controversial military post was uploaded at the height of the discussions on the decision of the Department of National Defense (DND) to abrogate an agreement with the UP which states that soldiers could not just enter any of its campus without proper coordination.

The agreement, known as the Soto-Enrile accord, does not totally ban soldiers from entering UP campuses as it recognizes military access for conduct of hot pursuit operations and emergency cases.