Senate report confirms US involvement in Mamasapano operation
Patricia Lourdes Viray (The Philippine Star) - March 17, 2015 - 5:55pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Senate joint committee report on the Mamasapano operation confirmed that the United States (US) was involved in the mission.

"There are indications that the planning and execution of the botched mission were not 100 percent Filipino-planned and implemented," Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs chair Sen. Grace Poe said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

Poe presented the summary of the committee report on the bloody incident that left 44 police commandos dead in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25.

The senator said that the US provided training, equipment and intelligence for the said operation to arrest terrorists Zulkifli Bin Hir alias "Marwan" and Basit Usman.

The following are some of the facts  from the report that were approved to be made public:

  • Napeñas brought three Americans into the Army Brigade headquarters (HQ). A helicopter arrived and three more Americans into the HQ and joined Napeñas at his work table.
  • One of the Americans, identified by Napeñas as Mr. Al Latz, supposedly handled the training of the Seaborne unit.
  • One of the Americans ordered Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan to fire the artillery. However, Pangilinan refused and told him, 'Do not dictate me what to do. I am the commander here!'
  • The Americans provided surveillance in the area through their Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR). TV monitors were brought in by the Americans to the HQ.

Napeñas admitted the involvement of a "US counterpart" during one of the public hearings:

Your honor, tumulong iyong US counterpart doon sa intelligence... Mayroon kaming isang US counterpart doon sa Seaborne who is working with them in terms of training at saka iyong... equipment provision, Your honor. Kasama po iyon na ibinibigay nila iyong maps na ginagamit for operation. But never nakasama iyong US counterpart in actual combat operation.

Poe noted that the said facts raises questions whether the Philippine National Police would have engaged in the said operation without the support of the US and the $5 million reward for the capture of Marwan.

The report clearly stated that the Mamasapano incident was not just a misencounter but a massacre.

"The concerned members of the MILF, BIFF and other armed groups murdered and robbed the 44 PNP SAF commandos," Poe said.

The report was based on the testimonies of resource persons who attended the Senate inquiry on the Mamasapano incident, as well as documents submitted such as the PNP Board of Inquiry report and the president's public statements.

RELATED: FULL TEXT: PNP Board of Inquiry's Mamasapano Report

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