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AFP chief orders probe on photo manipulation, wants violators punished

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Noel Clement on Saturday ordered a "thorough" investigation into the manipulated photo of the "surrender" of New People's Army rebels.

In a statement, Clement said those found to have committed "infractions will be punished.

He said it was a well-settle policy in the military to review and validate materials in its press releases, and that file photos should be labeled as such if they were to be used.

"We uphold the highest standards in reporting and delivering information to the public. And everyone adheres to it as our credibility, no less, is at stake," he said.

Earlier, Defense Secrteary Delfin Lorenzana said  some members of the Philippine Army may face sanctions over the release of manipulated photographs.

The Philippine Army has already said it would be conducting its own probe on the matter.

Netizens on Friday criticized as manipulated the pictures that the Philippine Army released as regards the supposed recent surrender of NPA members.

The image of the row of supposed rebel returnees appeared to have been super-imposed on the photograph of rifles arranged side by side on a table.

Research by GMA News indicated that there were similar photographs of supposed rebel returnees that the military released as early as 2017. — MDM, GMA News