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Aquino, SAF review Mamasapano mission to improve operations

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III and officials of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) reviewed on Wednesday the bungled operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that left 44 troopers dead.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the three-hour meeting at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City focused on a review of the operations conducted to arrest international terror suspect  Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, and Basit Usman last January.

"This review is essential in identifying points for improvement in the conduct of similar operations," Coloma said in a note to media.

Coloma said the President stressed the importance of rebuilding the capability of SAF as an elite unit of PNP.

He said Aquino pledged support for the acquisition of needed equipment and resources for the SAF.

Aquino's meeting with the SAF was also attended by Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, PNP Officer-in-Charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina and Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo.

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Roxas said the SAF troopers aired their concerns to the President during the meeting.

READ: Seeking to heal wounds, PNoy tackles SAF troopers' concerns

After the meeting, Aquino witnessed the turnover of the SAF command from Chief Superintendent Noli Taliño to Chief Superintendent Moro Virgilio Lazo, the newly appointed SAF commander.

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