Former Department of Health Undersecretary Alexander Padilla on Monday accepted the apology of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) over his inclusion on the list of individuals who allegedly became members of the New People’s Army.
“Nagpapasalamat naman ako at tinatanggap ko naman ‘yung naging apology ng ating AFP Information Management Center kaya lang ang sa akin lang, huwag naman sana itong mangyari ulit at ingat-ingatan nila dahil naglalaro sila sa buhay ng mga tao,” Padilla told Dobol B sa News TV.
However, despite accepting the apology, Padilla and his fellow UP alumni would still talk if they would file formal complaints against those who prepared the list of alleged NPA members.
“Pag-aaralan pa namin ng mga kasamahan ko dahil nga gusto namin maging leksiyon sana ito,” he said.
“Marami kaming options, kakasuhan ba ng cyberlibel, criminal case ng libel o kaya naman violation ng international humanitarian law. So marami kaming options, of course nakatulong naman ‘yung apology ng AFP Management Bureau pero still, sapat ba ‘yun at di na ba ito mauulit?” he added.
Padilla, who was also a former President and CEO of PhilHealth, called on the AFP to carefully validate facts before posting because wrong information could put someone’s life in danger.
“Ang laki-laki naman ng intelligence fund nila, sana naman bawat labas ng information ay talagang pag-aaralan nila ng mabuti. Ito po ay di laro, talagang nakataya ang buhay ng mga tao dito,” Padilla, a lawyer, said.
He admitted that he was an activist during the time of dictator Ferdinand Marcos but he insisted this should not be a basis to tag him as an NPA member.
“Ayoko sana sabihin pero parang walang intelligence, ‘no? Kitang-kita, binubusisi ko ‘yung listahan at ito nga’y mga kasamahan ko rin, kapanahunan ko, late 70s to early 80s, so we’re talking about, what, 40 years? ‘Yan na ba ang intelligence product ng AFP?” he asked.
“Aminado naman kami aktibista kami dati, lumaban kami sa batas militar… hanggang doon na lang ba ang intelligence ng AFP? Mukhang kailangan nila talagang ayusin nang mabuti. Huwag sanang bara-bara na maglalabas sila ng ganitong impormasyon,” Padilla added.