Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana sacked the military’s top intelligence officer over the erroneous report on slain and arrested communist rebels which turned the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) into a laughing stock and subject to intense criticisms when it was posted in their social media accounts.
“I am relieving MGen (Major General) Alex Luna from his post as Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, J2, effective today (28 Jan 2021),” said Lorenzana in a statement.
Lorenzana said the names of the slain and arrested communist rebels that were posted in the AFP social media account and were shared by other military units came from the office of Luna based on the investigation conducted.
The names contain lawyers, journalists, former high-ranking government officials, and a veteran film director who died several years ago but not due to military operation.
The list that was posted in the social media, and apparently given to Lorenzana, was used to justify the abrogation of the Department of National Defense-University of the Philippines (DND-UP) agreement which requires that the AFP should seek clearance from the UP administration first before they could enter any of its campuses.
Some of those who were wrongly included in the list called out the AFP for erroneous information which later prompted Lorenzana to apologize and called the incident an “unpardonable gaffe.” The post was already taken down.
Netizens lambasted the AFP for the wrong information and started to question the multi-million annual intelligence fund being given by the government to the military.
Lorenzana said the publication of the erroneous list is an unforgivable lapse.
“His negligence only shows a lackadaisical attitude towards his job resulting to confusion and damage to reputation,” said Lorenzana.
“We do not take these offenses lightly and I want to hold the people involved accountable,” he added.