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AFP spokesman downplays ‘Twitter war’ with netizens over Sueselbeck

/ 06:30 PM October 27, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — What Twitter war?

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The spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday downplayed his “Twitter war” with some netizens over his supposedly insensitive remarks about Marc Sueselbeck, the German fiance of slain transgender Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude.

“Sumasagot lang tao hindi mangibabaw ang opinyon na sa palagay amin ay hindi naman tama. Kagaya nang pauwiin na lang si Sueselbeck. Naniniwala kami sa rule of law, batas dapat ipairal sa lahat….Kung nanawagan na parusahan si Pemberton na naniniwala na may kasalanan siya, manawagan din tayo na parusahan si Sueselbeck kasi may kasalanan din siya at kita sa videos at may ginawa ring kabalastugan,” AFP Public Affairs Office chief Lieutenant Harold Cabunoc told reporters on Monday.

(I was just answering to prevent the prevalence of public opinion which we think is not correct. Just like what happened when Sueselbeck was about to go home. We believe in the rule of law which should be implemented to everyone. If there are people calling for the punishment of Pemberton because they believe he is guilty, then we should also call for the punishment of Sueselbeck because he was also at fault, and it was captured on the videos that he did something wrong.)

On Sunday night, Cabunoc’s Twitter posts sparked angry comments from some netizens.

Last week Sueselbeck tried to enter the detention center of Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton, the suspected killer of Laude, at Camp Aguinaldo. The German climbed the fence and shoved a soldier manning the area.

The German has apologized and the AFP accepted it. He was supposed to leave the Philippines on Sunday night but was prevented from leaving the Philippines after he was declared an “undesirable alien” by the Bureau of Immigration and slapped with a “legal matter” to settle.

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“It was not a war, it was a quarrel of ideas. Walang personalan d’un,” Cabunoc said.

The military officer said he was responding to tweets as the PAO chief of the AFP using his personal account (@HaroldCabunoc94).

“Yes, [my statements] are in behalf of the AFP that is based on the media lines, which serves as our guide on what we are supposed to answer,” Cabunoc said.

“Kung may nang-aaway du’n hindi ako y’un. Tinag lang ako ng nag-comment. Nang-aaway sila hindi ako nang-aaway maging klaro dun. Iba ‘yung away ng idea, iba ‘yung idea in person,” he added.

(If there was anyone who was berating there, it wasn’t me. The commenter just tagged me. Let me make it clear: They berated me, I did not berate them. It was a quarrel of ideas, besides, the idea and the person (voicing it) are two different things.)

He maintained that his statements on social media are authorized by the military leadership.

“Lahat ng aking sinasabi ay authorized ng Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines…Ang aking trabaho ay mag engage sa mga tao. Kung sinasagot ko katanungan ng mga tao parte ‘yun ng aking trabaho,” Cabunoc said.

(Everything that I said was authorized by the AFP Chief of Staff. It is my job to engage people. Answering their questions is part of my job.)

 Originally posted at 03:56 pm | October 27, 2014

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TAGS: AFP, Harold Cabunoc, Jeffrey Laude, Jennifer Laude, Joseph Scott Pemberton, Marc Sueselbeck, Netizens, quarrel of ideas, Twitter war
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