AFP chief knew Mamasapano operation since November
Patricia Lourdes Viray (The Philippine Star) - February 4, 2015 - 12:30pm

MANILA, Philippines - Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. on Wednesday admitted that the lack of tactical coordination caused the failure of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force's (PNP-SAF) operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

In a television interview, the AFP chief confirmed that President Benigno Aquino III informed him of the said operation as early as November 2014 and instructed him to coordinate with the PNP-SAF.

Catapang also said that PNP-SAF director Getulio Napeñas Jr. did not coordinate with the AFP on the day of the assault.

"Ni-launch po yung operation without us being informed," Catapang said, adding that the coordinates of the SAF's whereabouts were not given when they asked for help.

He added that the AFP was also not informed about the exact date of the SAF operation to capture wanted terrorists Zulkifli "Marwan" Hir and Basit Usman in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

"We can't do anything if the SAF refused to share more information with us. We think we just did what was necessary at that point in time," the AFP chief said.

Catapang said that it was unfair to accuse the AFP of not sending reeinforcement.

"Nandoon po kami when they needed us most and ang problema nga too little too late na yung coordination. Kung kailan na po nagbabakbakan saka po hiniling yung aming reinforcement," Catapang explained.

The AFP would have suggested a night attack if there was enough coordination, which would have made the operation more effective, Catapang added.

The military is set to submit the report of its fact-finding committee to the PNP Board of Inquiry.

RELATED: AFP ends inquiry, clears itself on SAF deaths

AFP ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES BOARD OF INQUIRY CATAPANG GETULIO NAPE GREGORIO PIO CATAPANG JR. HIR AND BASIT USMAN MAGUINDANAO MAMASAPANO SAF
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