Alumni of the University of the Philippines who were red-tagged on the military's Facebook page on Thursday called on the Department of National Defense to rescind the reinstatement of two generals whom it cleared of direct responsibility in the fiasco.
The group said "no basis has been shown to justify the mercy of second chances". Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana reappointed Major Generals Alex Luna and Benedict Arevalo to their deputy chief of staff positions, reminding them that such a mistake should not happen again.
Arevalo took a leave of absence and Luna was relieved from his post after an Armed Forces Facebook page listed some UP alumni as members of the communist guerilla movement.
"We believe that Secretary Lorenzana’s order for the reinstatement of the two generals is premature and yet another 'unpardonable gaffe'," they said.
The group, composed of lawyers Alex Padilla and Raffy Aquino, journalist Roel Landingin, playwright Liza Magtoto, development worker Marie Lisa Dacanay, and government official Elmer Mercado, said neither the defense department nor the armed forces offered a credible explanation of the "error-riddled list".
They said Lorenzana's action downplayed the "actual and continuing injury that the post has caused us and other innocent parties".
"Many of us in the list were UP student leaders who fought for the restoration of democratic rights and civil liberties that had been suppressed by the Marcos dictatorship. We have never joined the New People’s Army. Neither have we been captured or killed," they said.
"In fact, many of us have gone on to become lawyers, academics, artists, journalists, civil servants, and other professionals who continue to be of service to the Filipino nation," they said.
They urged Lorenzana to make public the findings of the DND's investigation on the matter, including those who were held to account, if any. They also called on the Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana to reject Lorenzana's decision to reinstate the two as his deputies.
"This malicious red-tagging practice by the military and police – that have sworn to serve and protect the people and to promote the Constitution and the rule of law – must stop posthaste," the group said, mulling charges against those involved in the "pernicious and inhuman practice of red-tagging".