By: Francis T. Wakefield
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said yesterday it will no longer take legal actions against activist May “Juana Change” Paner who wore the military battle attire in a rally during President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
This, after the AFP on Thursday said that Paner’s action was a form of disrespect and a violation of the Revised Penal Code and Republic Act 493 or the Prohibition of Use of Insignias, Decorations, Badges, and patches prescribed for the AFP.
AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, during the Mindanao Hour press briefing yesterday morning, said AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año decided not to press charges when they found out, after a thorough review, that Paner did not ridicule the soldiers.
“Last night the Chief-of-Staff, AFP, General Eduardo Año, ordered a thorough review of the case of Miss Paner following information that Ms. Paner did not actually ridicule soldiers but even praised the sacrifices of our men in uniform. It was also reported that she did this in the interest of the arts, being a recognized commedienne,” Padilla said, citing the AFP statement.
“Based on this information and other findings, the AFP will no longer pursue the case but calls upon Ms. Paner and other authorized individuals to henceforth desist from the inappropriate use of our uniforms,” he added.