Senator Panfilo Lacson called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to remain apolitical and not be involved in political issues.
Senator Lacson reminded the AFP to only be loyal to the chain of command and not be involved in politics following Facebook’s shutdown of over 100 fake accounts linked to the Philippine military and police.
In an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, Lacson, chair of the Senate committee on national defense, said: “Karapatan talaga ng Facebook ‘yun. Kasi ang basic na argumento dito, ang AFP ay dapat apolitical. Huwag sila mag-express ng suporta maski kaninuman,”
(It is the right of Facebook [to shutdown those accounts]. The basic argument here is that the AFP should remain apolitical. They should not express their support to anyone.)
“Ang suporta lang nila [ay dapat] doon sa chain of command nila dahil commander-in-chief nila ang Presidente, pero kapag nakihalo na sila sa usaping politikal na walang kinalaman sa chain of command, medyo may problema tayo doon,” the senator added.
(Their support should only be to the chain of command because the president is their commander-in-chief, but if they meddle with political discussions, which do not have anything to do with their chain of command, then that’s where our problems lie.)
Lacson’s remarks come after chief of staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay asked Facebook to bring back the pages of “advocacy groups” which were taken down for alleged “coordinated inauthentic behavior.”
Gen. Gapay said: “We hope that, as we look on to a new partnership with Facebook Philippines, that similar legitimate advocacies will be respected, if not uplifted, to prevent the spread of violent extremism and protect every Filipino child from the communist terror group.”
Gapay urged Facebook head of public policy in the Philippines Clare Amador to examine the process in removing accounts and give them “due regard” to the violations committed by account owners “to remove doubts of FB being partisan.”