Palace spokesman Harry Roque

Malacañang on Monday told the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to be more prudent after erroneously tagging University of the Philippines (UP) students as members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

“I… suggest that they be more prudent para hindi na po napapa-apologize ang ating Secretary of National Defense,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

Roque gave the tip after the military drew flak for releasing a list of former UP students allegedly killed and captured after joining the NPA.

The list has since been deleted, prompting AFP to make a public apology.

“We sincerely apologize for those who were inadvertently affected by inconsistencies regarding the List of Students who joined the NPA (Died or Captured) that was posted in the AFP Information Exchange Facebook account,” the AFP Information Exchange said in a Facebook post.

Roque said the government had “no overall communication plan” on red-tagging and only the Department of National Defense was responsible for fixing mishaps.

AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil Military Operations Maj. Gen. Benedict Arevalo said personnel responsible for the fallacious list were “admonished.”

“Hindi pa kasi complete ‘yung investigation and report, but of course medyo mayroon na tayong mga na-admonish dito at the minimum so let’s see kung ano pang other actions then,” Arevalo told reporters.

“I will not give the number but at the minimum ‘yung the one holding the social media on our office, ‘yan medyo naano at the minimum and we’ll see what other, kung mayroong punishment or ano will be meted ano… if the reports are complete,” he added.

Earlier, National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict spokesman Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade said 18 learning institutions, including UP, were recruitment grounds for communists. His claims have since been denied by five universities. John Ezekiel J. Hirro