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Military intelligence chief sacked over misinformation in list of alleged communist rebels
This Oct. 16, 2020 photo shows Maj. Gen. Alex Luna as he assumes his new post as the AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence.
PAOAFP/SN1 Donald Viluan PN

Military intelligence chief sacked over misinformation in list of alleged communist rebels

(Philstar.com) - January 28, 2021 - 1:22pm

MANILA, Philippines — Maj. Gen. Alex Luna has been relieved as armed forces deputy chief for intelligence over the publication of an incorrect list of alleged communist rebels who the military claimed were killed or captured. 

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed this in a statement sent to reporters Thursday afternoon. "I am relieving MGen Alex Luna from his post as Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, J2, effective today (28 Jan 2021)," he wrote. 

To recall, a Facebook page named “Armed Forces of the Philippines Information Exchange” published a list of 28 supposed UP alumni who, they claimed, went on to join the NPA. 

However, those on the list who were neither dead nor captured by the military, prompting them to come out in a press conference held by the Right to Know Right Now Coalition to deny the allegations made and cast fear over the possible effects of the list on their personal safety. 

"The publication of an erroneous list, originating from his office OJ2, of alleged NPA killed by the military is an unforgivable lapse. His negligence only shows a lackadaisical attitude towards his job resulting to confusion and damage to reputation," Lorenzana said in his statement. 

"We do not take these offenses lightly and I want to hold the people involved accountable," the defense chief also said. 

READ: AFP apologizes for red-tagging UP alumni

Luna was promoted to the post of Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, J2 in October 2020.

A week after the initial list, the military also misquoted a former University of the Philippines lecturer as saying that the "silent majority" in the university supported the abrogation of UP's deal with the defense department.

The former senior lecturer, Michael Eric Castillo, later went on record to say that he had no basis for making such a claim. 

“This is unprofessional behavior and politicized men in uniform should never be tolerated. Apology is one thing, but taking action is another. Someone should be held accountable for negligence like this. Bad eggs should never be left unpunished,” said Sen. Francis Pangilinan said then in a statement. 

— Franco Luna 

 

AFP ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE DND NTF-ELCAC RED-TAGGING
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: January 28, 2021 - 12:49pm

University of the Philippines President Danilo Concepcion shoots down allegations by the military of "infiltration" by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples' Army in the university's units.

Concepcion says the university administration had no knowledge of the allegations nor details and circumstances of such claims by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

"We call on the military and police leadership to engage with UP and other universities in a constructive dialogue on the issues involved in these allegations, to dispel their chilling effect and encourage trust and confidence in our uniformed services," Concepcion says in a statement.

 

January 28, 2021 - 12:49pm

Maj. Gen. Alex Luna has been relieved as armed forces deputy chief for intelligence over the publication of an incorrect list of alleged communist rebels, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announces.

Luna's relief from the post, first reported by CNN Philippines, is over social media posts that falsely tagged UP alumni as having been captured and killed after joining the New People's Army.

Lorenzana says the incident was "an unforgivable lapse."

He says Luna's "negligence only shows a lackadaisical attitude towards his job resulting to confusion and damage to reputation."

January 25, 2021 - 10:54am

Military social media page Armed Forces of the Philippines Information Exchange apologizes to people it tagged as University of the Philippines alumni whom they said had been captured or killed after joining the New People's Army.

Some of those named, among them lawyers, held a press briefing over the weekend to condemn their inclusion on the list and to declare that they were neither captured by the military, or, obviously, killed.

"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 also says.

January 24, 2021 - 3:42pm

Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University and the University of Santo Tomas deny the claims of Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. that their universities serve as "recruitment havens" for the New People's Army.

In a joint statement, ADMU President Fr. Roberto Yap SJ, DLSU President Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC, FEU President Dr. Michael Alba and UST Vice Rector Fr. Isaias Tiongco OP say the charge is "really getting old" and "irresponsibly since cast without proof."

"We therefore object to General Parlade's statement and emphasize that our institutions neither promote nor condone recruitment activities of the New People's Army and, indeed, of any movement that aims to violently overthrow the government," the joint statement read.

JUST IN: Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Far Eastern University, and the University of Santo Tomas...

Posted by The GUIDON on Saturday, 23 January 2021
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