MANILA, Philippines — Newly-designated Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana said the military will not hurt anyone except for those identified as enemies of state.
“We need to look back kung ano ang erroneous things that we committed and we should learn from that so my instruction was that whenever we talk, whatever things we do, we must be deliberate, we must exercise due diligence para sa ganoon makapagbigay ng magandang serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan,” said Sobejana in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel, reacting to the red-tagging controversies and a military official’s latest tirades against an INQUIRER.net reporter.
“We should not hurt anybody unless he is an enemy of the state so we have to really identify the enemies of the state as what I have said so that walang collateral damage. Rest assured, magiging deliberate kami sa aming ginagawa,” he added.
AFP – Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. drew flak after he claimed that INQUIRER.net multimedia reporter Tetch Torres-Tupas was aiding terrorists and spreading lies over her story titled, “Tortured Aetas seek SC help against anti-terror law.”
Parlade questioned if Tupas’ sources in the story were “propaganda machinery” of the communist rebels. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1392144/fwd-media-orgs-groups-call-out-parlade-for-remarks-vs-inquirer-net-reporter-shows-perils-of-anti-terror-act
Sobejana did not directly respond to the query on whether he treated the Inquirer reporter as “enemy of the state” but he made sure that they would exercise due diligence in their operations.
“Not necessarily investigate Parlade’s statement, we have to investigate or validate about the involvement of anybody, not necessarily Inquirer, but it applies to all. As what I have said, we exercise due diligence,” the military official said.
Parlade, also an official of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Insurgency (NTF-ELCAC), previously accused actress Angel Locsin of not revealing the alleged membership of her sister, Ella Colmenares, with the New People’s Army.
They both denied the accusation.
The Philippine military also faced a controversy on the recent red-tagging several University of the Philippines alumni.