Cyber operations is already one of the pillars of modern warfare. Any military organization for that matter, already maintains one. But to use it to propagate an ideology or what-have-you and more devastatingly, a political stance is not part of the mandate sworn by officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
It would have been better if the AFP directed their efforts at protecting our cyber critical infrastructures from foreign malicious attacks or propagate the Constitutional line that the AFP organization is supposed to uphold, protect and base their actions from. Newly appointed AFP Chief Gilbert Gapay’s appeal to Facebook to maintain those “advocacy sites” does not hold enough water because the AFP is not supposed to maintain “advocacies”— it is supposed to do its duty of strengthening ties with communities, and possibly promote Constitutionally held-principles and not ideologically-based counter-propaganda. It would even be acceptable had it been that the AFP conducted attacks at disinformation and cyber-maneuverings undertaken by China or other hostile states. The very fact that the AFP itself is using the weapons of the state directed against the Filipino People–the very ones who are supposed to enjoy the protection of state security forces– and not to the avowed foreign enemy forces, makes one very disappointed.
This is very disheartening to hear and even discuss with because the AFP is supposed to be the last remaining credible institution in our society today. When proponents of the revolutionary government extended their hand to the AFP, the AFP said a firm no. And then we hear these news about Facebook closing down sites that promote the candidacy of the presidential daughter? Kawalang hiyaan na yan! Who ordered that Army official to use state funds and resources to pursue his own political preference? Or this official is just following orders?
If this official is just following orders then woe to us, Filipinos! We are now being served by an armed mammon who swears loyalty not to us, the true sovereigns, but to a person who only enjoys the exercise of temporal powers!
I remember reading a report several decades ago, that bemoaned the state the AFP was in during the pre-1986 revolution era. Like Malacanan, the AFP was fragmented in the middle, and being destroyed by politics, corruption and nepotism. The AFP suffered a tremendous credibility challenge during the Marcos era and after several years of hard work for reforms, you then would read such stories about the AFP involved in electoral politics? What a shame!