Journalist Ira Panganiban defends soldiers, police from allegations of looting and rape, offers advice to accusers

There have been reports of looting in Marawi circulating online allegedly involving soldiers and policemen while conducting house to house searches.

News media giant ABS-CBN picked up the story of the alleged looting involving soldiers and policemen on June 27, 2017. [ABS-CBN News]

Previously, the Philippine Star also ran a story on June 23 at 12AM about allegations of looting perpetrated by soldiers and the police while conducting search operations. [Phil Star]

A netizen using the Facebook handle ‘Bae Sa Bayabao’ took to Facebook on June 23 at around 5PM posting photos of the family’s house being looted after the military declared her barangay as cleared from Maute militants.

In fairness, she did not mention the military or the police as the looters.

If the allegations of looting weren’t enough, a Gabriela representative cited reports of mothers sending their young girls to evacuation centers for fear their daughters might get raped.

Military and police officials vehemently denied both allegations.

Meanwhile, veteran journalist Ira Panganiban took to Facebook defending the military and the police from allegations of looting and rape and offered advice to people making baseless accusations to “lead, follow or get of the way!”

Read the full post below.

A platoon of Philippine Army soldiers enter a hot spot. Sniper fire and automatic chatter greet them as they approach. They dive and take cover looking for the source of the gunfire. You think they have the time to look for goodies and valuables from houses to loot?

Another platoon on the streets of Marawi is busy with close quarter fighting. They battle ISIS house to house taking fire and casualties at the same time. You think they have time to ruffle through each house while under fire?

A special extraction team of soldiers go through the battle zone to collect and guide civilians out to a safe zone. You think they have time think of sex and rape while enemy fire and friendly bombs are exploding around them?

You guys talking trash should think about this, each and every soldier out in Marawi are there so that we can type all of this BS with freedom and impunity.

Their currency is their life. They pay it on so we can be the assholes that we are doing what we love to do, be irresponsible critics.
My advise to all you who make baseless accusations?

Lead, follow or get out of the way!

He ended the post with his signature hashtag “#syetdapwet”.

Your thoughts, please!

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