Still no justice for the fallen 44 SAF troopers

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Freeman

I returned from my pilgrimage to Akita, Japan with a bad case of colds and lost my voice; hence I had to cancel two tapings for my talk show “Straight from the Sky.” I wanted to do a show on the relevance of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) for the Catholic faithful. So instead, I’m presenting to our televiewers a replay of one of the shows that I did about that Brazilian mystic, Catalina Rivas, who had a great privilege of seeing an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the height of a holy Mass.

This was one of my best shows last year and it is the first time that we are showing it again as it is a timely show while Cebu plays host to the IEC. On this show with us are our friends Fr. Lucas Inoc, Ms. Ching Calub, and Engr. Douglas Gacasan. Watch it on SkyCable’s channel 61 at 8:00 tonight with replays on Wednesday and Saturday, same time and channel. We also have replays on MyTV’s channel 30 at 9:00 tonight and at 7:00AM and 9:00PM respectively on Wednesday and Friday.


It’s the first anniversary of the infamous Mamasapano massacre where Special Action Force troopers were sent to Maguindanao to participate in that secret mission, which we originally thought was Oplan Wolverine, but later as the truth surfaced, we learned that it was Oplan Exodus. This mission was to purportedly serve a warrant of arrest to Zulkifi “Marwan” Abdir with his Malaysian terror partner Basit Usman because they had a high price of US$5 million on their heads.

While the SAF was able to kill Marwan, their getaway plan was foiled by elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, which resulted in the death of 44 SAF troopers, 18 MILF rebels, and 6 BIFF terrorists. What was not officially told was that, at least two Americans were also killed in that debacle.

What was the most painful part of this massacre was what the MILF rebels uploaded on their Facebook page, showing to the Filipino nation and the world that the 44 SAF troopers were not killed altogether. Many of them were still alive and wounded. But the bloodthirsty MILF/BIFF terrorists went on a wild killing spree, showing no mercy to soldiers who were already wounded and lying on the ground. They were hacked to death or shot at point blank range.

What is deeply disturbing here is that Pres. Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III calls these people his “friends” and worse he is hell bent on giving them the Bangsamoro Basic Law  thru Congress! What we found strange was that when the news of the Mamasapano Massacre hit the media, Pres. PNoy Aquino was unseen for three days. He only surfaced when the bodies of the fallen 44 SAF troopers arrived in Villamor Air Base where he was still a no-show, opting instead to attend the blessing of a Mitsubishi assembly plant.

Well, it is exactly one year ago when the Filipino nation mourned the loss of 44 SAF troopers, and what is most frustrating of all is the cover up that ensued to insulate Pres. PNoy from this disaster. There was a Senate Investigation but it ended abruptly. Then last July 2015, when no one was looking, the Office of the Ombudsman cleared Pres. Aquino of any liability in the Mamasapano massacre, saying that the President did not commit any criminal or administrative act. The Office of the Ombudsman is now a co-conspirator in what we call a serious case of obstruction of justice. This is why one year later; there is still no justice for the fallen 44.

But while getting the President free from liability, the Office of the Ombudsman recommended the filing of charges against dismissed Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima, (a close friend and confidant of PNoy) and former PNP SAF Commander Director Getulio Napeñas and nine other PNP officers for the Mamasapano massacre. Come now, few Filipinos believe that PNoy wasn’t involved in the Mamasapano massacre. The fact alone that he went to Zamboanga City exactly a year ago and was seen in the US drone center is just one proof of this involvement.

If you recall, PNP chief Alan Purisima was already suspended by the Ombudsman for his alleged anomalous contract with Carrier firm Werfast for the delivery of gun licenses. So how could a suspended police officer be involved in the Mamasapano incident unless he had the imprimatur of PNoy, his close friend? What is obvious to the people is that they cleared the big fish, and charged the small fry for such a huge military style operation.

So in the next two days, the Senate investigation on the Mamasapano massacre will resume. So what are we to expect as an outcome of this resumed investigation? Will we see more of the cover-up by the Aquino Regime or will we finally dig out the truth? Whatever the outcome; we can only hope and pray that one year after they were massacred, the fallen SAF 44 will finally get the justice they deserve. Will the Senate deliver that justice?


For email responses to this article, write to [email protected] or [email protected]. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.



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