The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and National Union of Journalists of the Philiippines (NUJP) called out the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for releasing an erroneous list tagging university students as captured or dead New People’s Army members.

In a statement, CHR spokeswoman Jacqueline Ann de Guia recognized the respective apologies of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the AFP and asserted that red-tagging could put lives at stake.

“Such gaffe… continues to be a cause for serious concern. Similar lapses, if left unchecked, can put reputations and lives in serious danger,” she said.

The AFP’s now-deleted Facebook post included the names of 28 University of the Philippines students who allegedly were NPA members.

The AFP has since apologized for the blunder and vowed to hold officials responsible for the post accountable.

De Guia also called on government offices and officials to use their authorities responsibly.

“This power to shape perceptions and options, coupled with the resources that enables them to do such, should always be put to good use. After all, the taxes that serve as the lifeblood of the government are from the people and are presumed to be always intended for the greater good,” she said.

“And one of the best ways to give life to the AFP’s motto of ‘Serving the People, Securing the Land’ is by being loyal to truth, fairness, and the rights enshrined and guaranteed by the Constitution, such as due process and presumption of innocence among others,” she added.

The NUJP said those accountable for the “dangerous slander” against the alleged NPA members, some of which were journalists, “will be held into account.”

“It is appalling how the military office tasked with communicating with the citizenry has shamelessly resorted to such blatant falsehood to push the narrative of UP as the supposed ‘breeding ground’ of enemies of the state,” it said in a statement.

“We, the community of independent Filipino journalists, denounce this dangerous slander against… all those so falsely accused by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations. We shall not let this pass. You will be held to account,” it added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro