If we piece together what we have in the maintream media, there were 392 SAF operatives, or 49 teams/ squads, i.e., 8 to a squad. The 49 squads were divided into three groups (a) the core group composed of 4 teams, or about 32 men (some media report this as composed of 38 men), directly tasked with extracting, dead or alive, Marwan and Usman, (b) the blocking force composed of 5 teams, or about 40 men (most media report this as composed of 38 men), and (c) the support group composed of 40 teams that stayed in the vehicles parked in the main road.
In the cover of darkness of Saturday night, 9 teams entered the field via a delivery truck that normally picked up the corn products in the area. They drove as far as there was a road. Then they started hiking until the river and waded through the river which was about chest deep. Crossing the river, five teams, or the blocking force, stayed around this area as this was the critical point of exit. Four teams proceeded towards the target, a cluster of three nipa huts, where one was a bit of a distance from the two huts. That one hut was where Marwan was.
It is reported that firefight broke up 4-am Sunday morning. They could not avoid the firefight as the booby traps surrounding Marwan's hut started exploding as soon as the four teams got near. The core team lost eight men in the firefight. The blocking force was practically wiped out mainly because the river made their retreat difficult. If there are fallen 44 as reported, then you are looking at 24 survivors from the core team and two (if 38 men, but four survivors if 40 men) from the blocking force.
Now, here is the puzzle. How were the 24 men from the core group able to get out? It appears that if this was a US-PH joint project, there was a division of labor; US had to focus their attention on the safety of the core group of four teams while PH had to focus their attention on the safety of the back-up teams, meaning the blocking force of five teams plus the 40 teams that stayed on stand-by in the main road. What assets or what means the US used in extracting the 24 men out of the killing field, nothing, zilch, is being reported in the media. But, this is the reason why the DNA and photos of the dead Marwan still managed to get into the hands of US, specifically the FBI.
What makes us, Pinoys, angry now is that authorities and officers on the side of PH bungled their part of the task and how terribly they bungled it. There are many reports that BS Aguino (Mama's Panot) himself and Sec Deles, adviser to the peace talk, were in Zamboanga monitoring the the whole operation in real time, specifically in that room, that was temporarily converted into a command center and a drone monitoring and control set up by the US inside the property of Celso Lobregat. (Now, Lobregat denies there was such a set-up in his property. We don't know if he is afraid of retaliation from MILF/ BIFF, or it is part of the contract he entered into when US rented his place that required silence on his part.)
But, the nagging question is: Was P-Noy really in Zamboanga monitoring the whole thing in real time? Unfortunately, he evades this question. If he is going to lie anyway, why not lie all the way and totally deny he was in Zamboanga. If he can't do that, then he probably can say he was in Zamboanga, but not in that room in Lobregat's property. But, even this seems not possible. So, can he blame the people with their ever growing suspicion that he was indeed in that room, the operation's command center, if he continues to evade this question? How else should we take all these sudden investigating bodies now, but a cover-up, when one simple question he will not answer? And, why so many investigating bodies? Why not just one independent body? All these moves being pursued by Mama's Panot and his ilks simply do not make sense. Do they really believe that with time they can change commonsense? He does not answer that one question, and it is puzzling.
So, he really looks so stupid in now putting all the responsibility and blame on the SAF commander, Napeñas, who does not have the pay grade to mobilize 49 teams, let alone 10 teams. I thought there was a need for an investigating body for truth, so how is it that they are suspending Napeñas already? And, why is Purisima already reacting and resigning when he can't resign because there is a provision in R.A.3019 that says that govt people with pending graft cases are not allowed to retire or resign?? — he has five graft cases pending against him.
The most damning report, of course, (though, we can call it a tsismis for now because only two reporters picked this up and others in the media didn't follow through) is that Deles and MILF's Murad were continously in the phone during the firefight, and Murad, it appears, threatened P-Noy and Deles that MILF will walk out of the peace talk if the Army was called in to reinforce the operation which was to be strictly a PNP operation. In the meantime, Acting PNP Chief Espina, who was kept out of the loop re operation, became aware of the firefight by about 6-7am, started calling from Crame directly the commander of the nearest Army Battalion, which was just an hour away from Mamasapano. Due to the insistence of Espina, the commander of that Battalion moved, and when he arrived at the site, he was surprised WHY he had to be called in because there were already "maraming SAF" (his exact words) in the main road ready to go in and fight. In fact, they have already tried to go in, but was repulsed, as there were about "mga isang libung" (exact words, again) MILF/ BIFF involved or engaged in the fight. (If Army intelligence are to be believed the bulk of these MILF/ BIFF fighters, numbering around 800, can now be found in North Cotabato. Probably, fearing retalation in Maguindanao, they moved)
At this time, Zamboanga also became aware that an army battalion was already present in the scene to support the SAF support group of 40 teams. NOW, SOMEONE commanded all these guys in the main road to stand down. The claim is that that someone has to be PNoy, because only the president can over-rule Espina, the Army Battalion commander, Napeñas, or the commander of the 40 teams of SAF, or all of these uniformed officers. This is probable and possible because PNoy was the only one listening to the phone conversation of Deles and Murad. It appears Deles and Murad only came up with something to agree upon by around 3pm, and that is when a ceasefire was called. This was too late. The report said the blocking force had run out of bullets by 12noon. Some of them tried to surrender but were killed anyway. From 12noon to 3pm is the time these animals from MILF/BIFF committed their barbaric atrocities. One SAF operative, for example, had his brain removed from his open skull, and replaced with leaves. Others were mutilated beyond recognition.
And now, two weeks after, media is only reporting that PNP and Army are blaming each other. Is there a joke here we are missing? The initial reports showed that Espina and that Army Battalion commander seem to have friendly relationship and great coordination even on short notice. So, why make it appear now that PNP and Army are in some kind of a blaming battle? Is this another cover-up for that SOMEONE who commanded them TO STAND DOWN in that now infamous road in Maguindanao — what for BBL? That may turn out to be an unconstitutional piece of paper, but no real peace? ……That SOMEONE can also talk ANYTIME without the benefit of any investigating body if he wants to, because the questions are not many and are simple. He does not, instead we are being fed on primetime with #NANA, a pus, a YELLOWish thing that makes any normal being vomit.
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