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Why did 300 SAF colleagues fail to help SAF 44?

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(BY: ATTY. BATAS MAURICIO) LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS:“… Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends…” (Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, in John 15:13, the Holy Bible).

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WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SAFETY OF SAF 44?I agree with Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas. We should be able to know with certainty who, really, had the responsibility of looking after the Special Action Force officers and men who were sent to Mamapasano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015, to either capture or kill Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and his Filipino deputy, Bassit Usman.

Certainly, this responsibility was not with Roxas nor with the acting chief of the Philippine National Police, Gen. Leonardo Espina, because they were specifically excluded from the deadly police operation that resulted in the murder of some 44 SAF commandos. It could not have also been suspended (and later on, resigned) PNP Chief Gen. Alan Purisima.

This leaves out only one official of government who should have looked after the welfare of the fallen policemen, and this is President Aquino no less. As is very clear now, however, Aquino did not take care of the safety and security of the slain policemen, even if he was just a few kilometers away from Mamasapano, Maguindanao at that time, and even if he was clearly in Zamboanga City to monitor the SAF operation against Marwan.

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WHAT WAS PNOY THINKING WHEN SAF 44 WERE BEING KILLED? Why did Aquino fail, or, maybe refuse, to do anything to save the officers and men of SAF while they were being butchered by the enemy? Had he chosen to do something, like calling AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang or even the leaders of the rebel group that his government had been negotiating with for a peace agreement, the murder of our policemen would have been prevented.

So the question really is, what was Aquino thinking while the SAF policemen were being mercilessly killed? Was he thinking that, he would rather have the policemen killed, rather than jettison the peace agreement his government had just signed with the rebel group and thereby prevent derailing the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law?

Was this also the reason why the more than 300 other policemen who were part of the operation to either capture or kill Marwan on January 25, 2015 chose not to help the 44 SAF operatives, even if these 300 could have easily given assistance to their murdered colleagues, as Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan (the commander of the 6thInfantry Division of the Philippine Army) asked during the Senate hearing on February 10, 2015?

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WHY DID 300 SAF COLLEAGUES FAIL TO HELP SAF 44?Pangilinan had a very valid and strong point in asking that question, and it looked sinister to me that the Senators present during the February 10, 2015 hearing did not proceed to follow up that question. Indeed, the natural instinct and tendency of men and women in uniform is to give immediate assistance to their colleagues who have found themselves in compromised and deadly positions.

This should have been especially true in the case of the 300 or so policemen who formed part of the bigger SAF team which was assembled for the Marwan operation on January 25. I would suppose that these 300 would have wanted very badly to help their own colleagues from the SAF who have been pinned down by rebel groups while in the pursuit of their joint mission.

Now, why did the 300 not help the 44 SAF officers and men? Why did the 300 fail to discharge their sworn duty as “Tagaligtas” (or “savior”) on January 25, 2015, even when it was their fellow “saviors” whom they will be saving? What prevented them from doing so? Or, perhaps, the better question should be, who prevented them from doing so?

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PLEASE LISTEN: “Tambalang Batas at Somintac”, jointly aired at DZEC, 1062 kHz in Manila, 1080 kHz in Dagupan City, 711 kHz in Naga City, 1260 kHz in Lucena City, 1224 kHz in Davao City, and at www.eaglenews.phMondays to Fridays, at 6 a.m.; at 801 kHz on the AM band (Panay Island), Mondays to Fridays, and simulcast at 92.7 Smile FM, San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur and Kiss 101.1 FM, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte.; and at 107.5 Win FM, Roxas, Isabela (Saturday, 5:30 a.m., and Sunday, 7 a.m.).   -30-




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