The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) sounded the alarm over the inclusion of two journalists in the list of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as alleged University of the Philippines (UP) students who became rebels.

In a statement, NUJP condemned the red-tagging of Agence France Presse bureau chief for Singapore and Malaysia Roberto “Bobby” Coloma and business journalist Roel Landingin.

Coloma and Landingin were among prominent alumni of UP who were falsely tagged as having joined the New People’s Army and had died or were captured.

The list was released by AFP Information Exchange on Facebook and has since been taken down.

“It is appalling how the military 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,” NUJP said, adding that the false report puts the people it names in mortal danger.

“We, the community of independent Filipino journalists, denounce this dangerous slander against Bobby Coloma and Roel Landingin and all those so falsely accused by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations,” it added.

Apart from Coloma and Landingin, the list also included late artist and activist Behn Cervantes, Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) lawyer Rafael Aquino, former Philippine Health Insurance (Philhealth) president and CEO Alexander Padilla, Carlos Palanca-awardee writer Liza Magtoto, Ateneo de Manila University faculty member Marie Liza Dacanay, former Department of Environment and Natural Resources undersecretary Elmer Mercado, and Libra Law founder Roan Libarios.

Meanwhile, the AFP Information Exchange on Sunday apologized to “those who were inadvertently affected” by the false list. The agency said it is already conducting an internal investigation as to how the list got published.

Source: Manila Bulletin (