Another top-level official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is the second confirmed casualty of the so-called “erroneous NPA list” controversy.
Major Gen. Benedict Arevalo, deputy chief of staff for civil-military operations (J7), was reported to have gone on leave as he was taking responsibility for the monumental blunder of his staff in the publication of a faulty list of University of the Philippines alumni who were killed/captured during military operations against the New People’s Army (NPA).
“I would like to reiterate that indeed the list was a mistake committed by J7 staff and as the chief of office of civil-military operations J7, I personally take responsibility for their actions,” Arevalo was quoted in media as saying.
The list had supposedly included the names of the late director Behn Cervantes, former Representative Roan Libarios of Agusan del Norte, former Philhealth chief Alexander Padilla and Rafael Angel Aquino of the Free Legal Assistance Group.
Arevalo apologized to Maj. Gen. Alex Luna, deputy chief of staff for intelligence (J2), who was earlier sacked by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as being the source of the list, which was posted on the Facebook and Twitter page of the AFP.
It was disseminated to the public to quell mounting criticisms to Lorenzana’s unilateral move in cancelling the 1989 DND – U.P. accord which prohibits state forces from operating inside its campuses without prior notice to the administration.