The controversial Army Col. Medardo Geslani, whose name was dragged in the Ampatuan massacre, and 86 other officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were confirmed Wednesday by the Commission on Appointments despite opposition from the National Union Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).
The bicameral commission announced his promotion to the rank of brigadier general.
In a statement, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said Geslani’s promotion meant rewarding him for his role in failing to prevent the November 23, 2009 Ampatuan massacre, which left 58 people dead, including 32 journalists.
“Confirming Geslani’s promotion would add another innustice to the long string of injustices visited on the victims of the Ampatuan massacre and their families,” said NUJP chairwoman Rowena Paraan.
“It is a fact that, before the convoy of now Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu set out on its ill-fated journey to Shariff Aguak to file his certificate of candidacy,” she said.
“Geslani and his former commanding officer, then Maj. General Alfredo Cayton, were among those whose help had been sought to provide security because of the very serious threats of violence that had already been floating about days before. These requests were ignored.”
Senate President Franklin Drilon presided over the confirmation of the AFP officers in the plenary session.
CA Assistant Minority Leader Rep. Isabela Rep. Rodolfo T. Albano III registered the only negative vote against the confirmation of Geslanin in the proceedings of the CA national defense committee under chairman Rep. Antonio del Rosario.
Acting Senate Minority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III, CA assistant minority leader, registered the lone abstention in the committee voting on whether to recommend the confirmation of Geslani.
Seven CA members voted to recommend Geslani’s confirmation in the plenary session.
During the plenary session, the CA minority group replaced CA Minority Leader Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile with Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito. Enrile is detained on charges of the non-bailable crime of plunder.
No replacement has been made for Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Ejercito Estrada, who mis also detained on plunder charges over the pork barrel scam.