NUJP demands the AFP to issue an apology for issuing false statements against our former Chairperson Inday Espina
4th Infantry Division information officer Captain Patrick Martinez has resorted to spreading blatant falsehood in the attempt to extricate his office for issuing a statement that accused our former chairperson Inday Espina-Varona of being in cahoots with communist rebels.
Last week, the 4th ID issued a statement quoting Colonel Alexander Macario, commander of the 401st Infantry Brigade, which gave the impression they were reacting to an article written by Inday in which she purportedly accused soldiers of the arson.
However, the only thing connected to the incident that Inday had done at the time was re-share on her Facebook account an alert issued by the human rights organization Karapatan.
The 4th ID statement, which claimed the New People’s Army was responsible for the arson based on the statement of a former rebel, insinuates that the only way Inday could have gotten news of the incident out so fast would have been if she received the information from the perpetrators in what he claims was a “planned and orchestrated” series of events.
On Monday, the Cagayan de Oro community paper Gold Star Daily, ran an article in which Martinez denies red baiting Inday and then goes on to claim that what he had issued was an “advisory” in “response to what she posted on her social media that we thought was not fair.” (http://goldstardailynews.com.ph/4id-red-baiting-of-journo-not-our-intention/)
He claimed the statement on Inday “was meant to reach out to the public who read her post on social media. It was not intended to vilify her.”
And then he drops the lie, claiming they tried to comment on Inday’s page but were “blocked.”
But as anyone familiar with Inday’s Facebook account, her page is PUBLIC, meaning it is open to anyone to comment on.
Captain Martinez has apparently discarded the second word in the motto of the Philippine Military Academy: INTEGRITY.
Be that as it may, it does not change the tenor of the original statement he, as 4th ID information officer, issued, which in itself belies his claim that it was not their intention to vilify or endanger Inday. As the still growing river of blood in this country proves, being publicly accused by the military of links to “enemies of the state” IS detrimental to one’s health.
We reiterate our demand for Captain Martinez and Colonel Macario to retract their statement and publicly apologize to Inday Espina-Varona and for the leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to impose sanctions on these officers who can endanger citizens of this Republic in so cavalier a fashion.