MP's claim irks army

MP's claim irks army

The Second Army has filed a complaint against Move Forward Party MP Nattacha Boonchaiinsawat for alleged use of fake documents during the censure debate to back his claims about the army's information operations.

Deputy army spokeswoman Col Sirichan Ngathong said the Second Army lodged the complaint against the opposition MP to protect itself as the accusations are untrue and the documents were falsified.

During the censure debate, Mr Nattacha presented documents concerning a military order for training officials on social media operations; and photos showing soldiers browsing social media platforms.

He made various claims about the army's information operations.

His claim centres around army cyber operations to counter anti-government groups, which some see as an invasive use of technology that violates basic rights and freedoms.

The MP said most of the documents were related to the Second Army.

Maj Gen Sawarat Saengphol, the Second Army spokesman, said on Thursday the Second Army has examined the documents and found them to be fake and containing inaccurate information.

The documents were claimed to date from March to July this year and bear the signature of the Second Army commander. However, the signature does not match the real one and the commander's last name is misspelled.

He said similar mistakes involving the rank and name of officers are also found in the documents presented by Mr Nattacha, adding that the documents' serial numbers were found to be inconsistent.

Maj Gen Sawarat also denied the MP's allegations the Second Army gave extra allowances to soldiers, saying it never received any such budget from the government as claimed by the MP.

He said the photos presented by Mr Nattacha as "evidence" of allowance disbursement might have been taken before the pandemic because the troops did not wear face masks.

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