Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Monday urged the Department of National Defense to at least suspend the termination of its 1989 agreement with the University of the Philippines, in the wake of recent developments involving decisions based on “false” information.
Lacson said this after DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana apologized for an “unpardonable gaffe” involving the military’s list of UP students supposedly recruited by the New People’s Army and killed or captured in clashes.
“I think it is prudent now for Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to at least suspend the termination of the UP-DND accord and hold a dialogue as he already mentioned he would do,” Lacson, who chairs the Senate defense committee, said in an interview on CNN Philippines.
“They based their decision to terminate the UP-DND accord, signed way back, on what appears now to be false information. They included personalities that they said were captured or killed in action by the military, but turned out to be alive and not captured at all,” he added.
But Lacson added Lorenzana and the military establishment “should also be given credit for openly accepting the mistake they made.”
He added it “takes a lot of humility particularly for Sec. Lorenzana to publicly apologize for the AFP’s blunder.”
On the other hand, Lacson pointed out that it is basic in military tactics that the success or failure of the execution of a plan of action depends largely on the decision-making process – and the decision must be based on accurate and verified information.
“At the very least, the one responsible for submitting that kind of information and the one who made the announcement should be sanctioned. They should be made to explain and they should really be sanctioned by the AFP leadership if not the DND – not only for putting the defense establishment in an awkward and embarrassing position but more so, the possible dire consequences that could occur because of such irresponsible and imprudent act,” he said.