MANILA- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Thursday it would take legal action against actress and activist Mae Paner, popularly known as Juana Change, for wearing a military uniform during a protest held in time for President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
In a statement, the AFP said Paner "inappropriately" used the military uniform given that she is not part of the Armed Forces.
"Ms. Mae Paner, popularly known as Juana Change, has inappropriately used our military uniform and disrespected it since she is not a member of the AFP nor a part of our reservists corps," the military said.
"We will take the necessary legal action to hold Ms. Paner accountable," the statement added.
The AFP said Paner violated Article 179 of the Revised Penal Code (Unauthorized Use of Uniforms) and Republic Act 493, a law that prohibits the use of military grades or titles by those not part of the service.
Section 2 of the law prohibits persons who are not in military service to "use or wear the duly prescribed insignia, badge or emblem or rank of the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or the Philippine Constabulary, or any colorable imitation thereof."
The penal code provision carries a penalty of arresto mayor, or imprisonment of one month and one day to six months, while violators of RA 493 may face a fine of P100 to P2,000 or imprisonment of not less than one month and not more than two years, or both.
Paner posted on her Facebook account photos of her wearing a military uniform at a protest outside Batasang Pambansa during the SONA.
On Thursday, Paner posted on Facebook a status update with the hashtag "#PikonTalo," an apparent response to the military's statement.
"Nagsuot lang ng uniporme galet agad? Yung pumapatay pinapalakpakan, laya, ipo-promote? Eh di kayo na! #PikonTalo," she said.
In a separate post, she thanked both her supporters and bashers for the attention.
"Thank you for the love and attention. Supporters and bashers please deepen the discourse. I ❤️ U," she said.