News Commentary

Juxtaposed: BOI and Senate panel Mamasapano probe findings

Camille Diola - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police's Board of Inquiry (BOI) and the Senate Committee on Public Order released their respective reports this month after an investigation into the killing of 44 police commandos in a counter-terrorism operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25.

The two reports have similarities and differences in their findings reflecting the competencies of the police officials and Senate committee officers led by Sen. Grace Poe.

Compare the conclusions of the two reports with the chart below:

Topic BOI Report Senate report
Oplan Exodus planning and execution Mission planning defective due to poor analysis of area, unrealistic assumptions. Planners failed to adequately consider topography of area of operation.
There was absence of "abort criteria." No alternative exit routes were established and lack of abort criteria.
Concept of operations failed due to several factors. Oplan Exodus was "poorly planned and executed" and "intentionally" broke chain of command.
Breakdown of command and control at all levels due to ineffective communication.  
Time on Target concept does not conform with established protocols of PNP.  
Indications of failure to secure perimeter, conduct reconnaissance, occupy vantage points and establish observation posts.  
Lack of intelligence There was "poor intelligence estimate." No preparation for possibility of 'pintakasi'. Only 392 personnel deployed while 1,000 hostile troops were present.
  MILF's mortar capability unexpected.
Lack of equipment SAF commandos' radios unreliable, not designed for military-type tactical ops.  
Lack of situational awareness, limited cover and concealment and ineffective communication.  
Coordination with military Purisima's words construed as assurance of coordination instructed by Aquino. Purisima and Napeñas disregarded lateral coordination requirements.
Defective planning to due absence of prior coordination with AFP. "Most fatal mistake" was decision against prior coordination with AFP.
Artillery support requested from AFP not delivered due to peace protocols.  
Description of the incident   A massacre not a misencounter.
Criminal offenses committed 4 SAF commandos shot at close-range while still alive; indications of robbery. MILF, BIFF and other armed individuals committed murder and robbery.
  No unlawful aggression that would justify self-defense was found.
MILF leadership Had loose command and control over their field forces, causing difficulty in reinstating the ceasefire. Does not have absolute control over their ground troops; no attempts to de-escalate the ongoing firefight.
Coordination with peace panel   Ceasefire mechanism failed to effectively end firefight of MILF with 55th Special Action Company but succeeded in containing firefight in Tukanalipao area.
  Delay in information and intensity of the firefight gave MILF-GPH ceasefire mechanisms difficulty.
  Presence of BIFF, private armed groups and armed civilians complicated the situation.
Defective planning to due absence of prior coordination with AHJAG. PNP-SAF did not attempt to coordinate with the AHJAG.
Chain of command   "Chain of command" principle applies to the PNP, contrary to DOJ reasoning.
  Presence of suspended police chief Alan Purisima in "Exodus" briefing a violation of the chain of command.
President Aquino "bypassed" established chain of command of the PNP by dealing directly with Napeñas. President Aquino should have excluded Purisima.
General Purisima Violated Special Order 9851 directing suspended PNP officers to cease performing official functions. Violated Revised Penal Code Art 177 on usurpation of authority or official functions.
Provided inaccurate information to the president about actual situation on the ground. Acts constitute grave misconduct.
Violated Ombudsman's preventive suspension order. May be held in indirect contempt by the Ombudsman for "disobedience."
General Napeñas Violated chain of command in following Purisima's instructions not to tell Interior Sec. Mar Roxas and PNP IOC Espina. May be held administratively liable for grave misconduct.
Followed his Time on Target concept despite Aquino's directive to inform military. Liable for inefficiency and incompetence and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.
President Aquino Allowed the participation of suspended police chief Purisima in the planning and execution of "Exodus." Failed to prevent Purisima's violations; fully aware of the suspension and did nothing to prevent his exercise of official functions.
  Communication with Napeñas coursed through Purisima, to whom he gave instructions.
Gave the go-signal and allowed execution of "Exodus" after Napeñas' briefing. Approved "Exodus" with full knowledge of operational details; "ultimately responsible" for success, failure of mission.
Role of the United States   Cannot be readily dismissed as mere observers.
Involvement limited to intelligence sharing and medical evacuation. Supplied intelligence, equipment and training.
  DFA's statement that "Exodus" was 100% percent Filipino contradicted by resource persons' statements.
ATC and NICA   The Anti-Terrorism Council and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency should not have been left out.
Government peace panel   The OPAPP and the peace panel are "suffering from a wanton excess of optimism." They should start speaking for the country, not for the MILF.


DOWNLOAD:  Board of Inquiry's Mamasapano Report | Senate panel's report on Mamasapano clash










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