CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Sept.18 (PIA) -- National government agencies remind the public to be wary of fake news.
This after members of communist terrorist groups (CTGs) accused soldiers of committing gross human rights violation against indigenous peoples (IPs) in Barangay Buhawen in San Marcelino, Zambales.
Air Force 355th Aviation Engineer Wing Deputy Wing Commander Colonel Gerardo Zamudio Jr. denied claims by their enemies that soldiers burned houses of IPs and forced suspected rebels to eat feces.
"Don't believe this because it's insulting to say that our soldiers would burn houses of indigenous people and force them to eat human feces. Let us not be fooled by this sort of propaganda by the Left," he said.
For his part, Army 703rd Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier General Andrew Costelo said every single personnel in their contingent strictly adheres to the Armed Forces of the Philippines' professionalism and other core values which forbid them from committing such inhumane acts.
"Based on our monitoring of the area and similar communities, we see that the IP community is the most vulnerable sector to the recruitment tactics of the CTGs. But you can count on it that the Philippine Army, the Philippine National Police, and the whole Armed Forces are here to protect our IPs," he said.
In fact, Castelo added that when an encounter between the soldiers and the armed rebels broke out in the area recently, the military, together with other government agencies, were among the first to respond to the needs of the displaced locals by giving them relief goods.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces Southern Luzon Commander Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr. warns the public against news that destroy the image of the military as he appeals to them to be cautious when using social media, as it is now used by the enemies of the state for propaganda.
Reaffirming this, Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy said the accusation against the soldiers is a desperate attempt to discredit the military.
"This is a desperate move to shock the community. This is because as the efforts of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict to address the needs in communities targeted for recruitment by the CTGs has propped up the image of the military, the communist movement continues to lose support from the masses," Badoy added.
For his part, Philippine Information Agency Regional Director William Beltran said citizens are now more discerning about the news they encounter and can determine whether such claims are true or just propaganda and lies being peddled by the Left. (CLJD/MJSC-PIA 3)