AFP: Socmed page recruiting persons with military background shut down

By Priam Nepomuceno

April 10, 2024, 2:38 pm

<p>AFP spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla<em> (Screengrab from PTV)</em></p>

AFP spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla (Screengrab from PTV)

MANILA – The social media page reportedly recruiting soldiers and persons with military backgrounds allegedly run by China has already been shut down, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Wednesday.

"Apparently, yun pong site na ito is (this site has) already (been) taken down as of this moment, wala na po siya (it's now gone)," AFP spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla said in a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing.

No other details were provided on how the page was taken down.

She added that the AFP started looking into the matter a few days ago to check the veracity of reports claiming that active and retired military personnel have applied to work as part-time analysts for the social media page.

Reports said these individuals, once accepted, will be tasked to write reports on military life and other hot military topics.

The site is reportedly connected to a US military advertising agency which upon casual checking showed leads to a domain name showing Chinese origin.

Despite the page's takedown, Padilla said that they were able to secure "screenshots of those who have tried to apply online."

However, she clarified that the AFP could not check the "private messages" of the prospective applicants.

"But with the 'screenshots', as of this time, we are investigating whether we have involved personnel na nakag-apply (who managed to apply)," Padilla said.

The AFP spokesperson added that the military along with other concerned agencies are now tracking those behind the account and whether there were personnel who have divulged or leaked any sensitive information.

"So we are considering this as a national security concern so its actually a fusion of efforts between interagency, so nakikipag-tulungan po tayo sa iba't ibang ahensya tungkol dito(so we are cooperating with other agencies on this matter)," she noted.

Padilla, meanwhile, said they have yet to detect AFP officers who have engaged with the social media page.

Asked about its possible objectives, Padilla said individuals behind the page might be trying to get "internal data from the Armed Forces." (PNA)