Navy relieves officer over alleged online threat vs Kabataan party-list nominee

Navy relieves officer over alleged online threat vs Kabataan party-list nominee
Photo shows Kabataan Party-list's Rep. Sarah Elago and its national president Raoul Manuel who will run as its first nominee in the 2022 elections
Twitter / Kabataan Party-list

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy said it has relieved an ensign who reportedly issued a death threat against Kabataan Party-list’s national president and first nominee Raoul Manuel on social media

The uniformed services are expected to be apolitical institutions and personnel are governed by strict standards of behavior.

"As an organization that seeks to protect the Filipino people, the Philippine Navy does not condone or tolerate irresponsible behaviors such as this. We take this incident seriously," the Philippine Navy said in a statement on Sunday evening.

Under the Facebook name "DC Sliv," the officer shared a news post on Manuel’s statement on the results of an autopsy on the remains of Chad Booc, a volunteer teacher for Lumad schools whom the military claims was killed in a clash between troops and New People's Army rebels.

The Navy officer captioned the post with: "Susunod ka na (You’re next), Raoul. Bye in advance."

Manuel on Saturday evening said an anonymous source told him that "DC Sliv" is an alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy, where potential military officers are educated and trained. Two hours later, Manuel updated his social media post with screenshots linking the Facebook user to 2LT Christleenjo D. Viloan.

"This matter is currently being investigated by appropriate authorities, and the said officer has been relieved for a thorough investigation," the Philippine Navy said without naming Viloan in the statement.

As of writing, the user “DC Sliv” no longer appears on Facebook search.

Manuel called on the PMA administration and the Philippine Navy to respond to the incident.

"Whatever happens to me will be implicated on PMA, AFP and related state institutions that promote fascist mindset," Manuel said. 

"Nakakabahala lalo kung paano ang mga pamantasan na pinapatakbo ng militar tulad ng Philippine Military Academy ay naghuhubog ng mga utak-pulbura at mamamatay-tao sa sarili nilang hanay," Kabataan party-list said in a statement on Sunday.

(It is also concerning that the institutions run by the military, such as the Philippine Military Academy, shape their people to become war freaks and murderers.)

The Philippine Navy promised that "appropriate sanction/s shall be meted if the incident that transpired are proven to be true."

Justice for New Bataan 5

The officer shared a post where Manuel was quoted condemning the death of Booc after a preliminary autopsy report of forensic pathologist Raquel Del Rosario-Fortun classified his death as homicide.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines claimed that the 27-year-old volunteer teacher, along with four alleged rebels, was killed after an "encounter" in New Bataan in Davao de Oro last February.

Fortun’s autopsy report showed Booc suffered multiple gunshot wounds on his trunk, had several hemorrhages with lacerations in internal organs, and Booc also suffered fractured ribs with a torn spinal cord.

Manuel has been vocal in calling for justice for Booc and the four others killed and has cast doubt on the military's narrative.

The Army has insisted that the five were rebels and were killed in a clash.

The Commission on Human Rights has called on other government agencies and related parties to cooperate in the investigation into the deaths.

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