man up, sirs!

13 April 2015

so.  finally, general napeñas has responded to the AFP’s derogation of his mamasapano maps as google maps lang.  on the second consecutive day of hearings in the house of reps, he revealed that the maps were provided by the americans, no less.  he certainly took his time, but given the way the allies of the president and of the ones that were kept out of the loop have been alleging incompetence and insubordination on his part, it’s great that napeñas is finally defending himself with facts heretofore kept secret for one reason or another.

even more great,  two SAF officers, police superintendent michael mangahis and police chief superintendent noli taliño, broke their silence and belied the claim of the AFP brass that they couldn’t give immediate help in mamasapano because they didn’t know the exact locations of the SAF troopers.  read SAF officer urges Col. del Rosario: “Man up!” and ‘Peace process’ blamed.

of course, just when it was getting interesting — finally, SAF officers calling out AFP officers, man up, sir, and all — siyempre, biglang sa executive session na lang itutuloy ang testimonies, i guess dahil hindi magandang nagbabangayan in public, but but but, again, it means only the honorable solons will learn the truth about our armed services and the issues that divide them, sorry na lang tayong pangkaraniwang people, we don’t deserve to know what the real situation is?   we don’t deserve to know if it’s true, as AFP chief of staff catapang asserted, that only napeñas distrusts the AFP, otherwise everything is hunky-dory between police and military?

clearly imbiyerna si catapang na inetsa-puwera siya ni napeñas sa planning at execution ng oplan exodus but just the same inasahan nito ang AFP for instant help nang makuyog ng pintakasi ang SAF troops.  and clearly OIC PNP leonardo espina (also kept out of the loop) has taken the side of the AFP and, correct me if i’m wrong  (i’m sure he said something to the effect at the hearing but no news report mentions it), himself blames only napeñas for the mamasapano debacle, as in, the buck stops with napenas; obviously imbiyerna siya dahil napeñas continued to take orders from the suspended purisima.

sa palagay ko, hindi masisisi si napeñas for keeping the AFP out of the loop.  kung sisipatin ang mamasapano report ng board of inquiry, pages 13 to 16, tungkol sa ‘genesis’ ng oplan exodus from the first (oplan pitas) in december 2010 to the 10th (oplan terminator 2) in december 2014, makikitang  9 out of the 10 faiiled missions to capture marwan were led by the PNP-SAF.  there was one (the 8th) in july 2014 that was conducted by the AFP only, without informing napeñas, but the report does not say why the mission also failed.  i wonder why the AFP has not been asked about this in any of the hearings.  kapanipaniwala ang sapantaha ni napeñas na nabobolilyaso ang mission kapag kasali ang AFP sa planning; tila nakakarating ang impormasyon kina marwan at nakakatakas ang mga ito, o napapaghandaan ng mga rebelde ang mga puwersa ng gobyerno, ke PNP o AFP.

here is that part of the BOI mamasapano report of march 2015 that i copied/encoded word for word, pages 13 to 16.

The ‘Genesis’ of Oplan Exodus

For years, SAF had planned and executed missions to arrest Marwan.

A long-time member of the elite force, Police Director Getulio Napeñas, the Director of SAF (DSAF), said that the ordeal had already exhausted him, having spent many years in pursuit of the elusive terrorist.  Police Superintendent Raymund Train, one of the officials of the SAF who played a key role in executing Oplan Exodus, has also been involved in the hunt for years.

Oplan Pitas, launced in December 2010, was one of LEOs (Law Enforcement Operation) designed to arrest Marwan, who was then sighted in Parang, Sulu.  Napeñas was then the Deputy Director of SAF while Train was the Company Commander or the Commanding Officer (CO) of the Assault Force.  It was the first time the latter operated against Marwan.  Both reported that the operation yielded negative result because the HVT (High Value Target) escaped hours before they arrived.

Two (2) years later, the SAF launched another police operation against the elusive JI terrorist, this time dubbed as Oplan Smartbomb.  The area of operation was at Butig, Lanao del Sur.

The plan was executed but failed because Marwas was again able to elude arrest.  Despite the failure to apprehend their target, SAF Commnados recovered crucial document, IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device), and a caliber-50 machine gun.

These setbacks further motivated SAF to persist.  In December 2012, it implemented Oplan Wolverine.  But the mission was immediately aborted because some AFP Commanders, according to Napeñas and Train, were hesitant to support the operation.  The reason given was that it might jeopardize the preparatory phase of the peace process with the MILF, particularly the creation of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission as mandated by Executive Order 120, which the President signed early that month.

In the last two (2) years, SAF attempted six (6) times to arrest Marwan and Usman, whose locations were reported in Marawi and then in Maguindanao in early 2014.

In April 2013, SAF launched Oplan Cyclops in Marawi, Lanao del Sur, which was similarly unsuccessful in arresting Marwan and Usman.  A month later, it implemented Oplan Cyclops 2.  During its execution, the Reconnaissance Company of SAF was compromised, forcing them to abort the operation altogether.

In 2014, another four (4) Oplans were crafted and implemented.  In two (2) missions, the SAF requested and received the support of the AFP; it went on its own on the other two (2).

The first foiled attempt was in April 2014, when SAF launched Oplan Wolverine 2 in Barangay Libutan, Mamasapno, Maguindanao.  The mission was called-off after the 1st MIB (Military Intelligence Battalion of the Philippine Army) withdrew its commitment to provide armored vehicles to support the SAF Commandos.

By the end of May 2014, SAF Commandos were deployed with AFP troops under Oplan Wolverine 3.  However, the mission was again aborted after the operating personnel detected the presence of a group of heavily armed malefactors at their drop-off point in the target area.

On June 30, 2014, the 6th Infantry Division (6ID) and 1st MIB initiated their own operation against Marwan and Usman in the same target areas as the previous SAF operations.  This, and the fact that SAF was not even given prior notice, raised a sense of distrust especially on the part of Napeñas.

According to Napeñas, the aborted missions in the past caused uncertainties and suspicion, so much so, that he decided against informing or working with the AFP in the succeeding operations against HVTs.  He speculated that sensitive intelligence and operational information were deliberately leaked whenever “big operations” against HVTs like Marwan and Usman were conducted.  Napeñas lamented that “[t]he subjects are being coddled by the MILF, whose members have a lot of contacts in the AFP.”

From Oplan Terminator to Oplan Exodus

Despite the failed missions, the SAF continued to monitor and pursue the HVTs.  In August 2014, then Regional Director of the Police Regional Office of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, Police Chief Superintendent Noel Delos Reyes submitted to Napeñas the grid coordinates of the possible new location of Marwan and Usman in Barangay Pedsandawan, Mamasapano, Maguindanao.  They also started intelligence-collection in the battlefield, knowing that their operation would be risky due to the difficult terrain and the reported presence of thousands of MILF and BIFF members.

One Sunday night in early November 2014, Napeñas received a call from the already suspended CPNP PDG Purisima, who directed him to work with the PNP Intelligence Group regarding the developments in the search for Marwan and Usman.

Soon after, Oplan Terminator was conceptualized.  Napeñas, together with senior officials of the SAF, presented a briefing of the plan to PDG Purisima at the ‘White House’ in Camp Crame, Quezon City.  After which, the the CPNP criticized the group by saying, “Nawawalan na nang bilib sa inyo si Presidente.”  He further stressed that he would take care of the AFP.  These remarks were attested to by Train and Police Superintendent Michael Mangahis.

Just the same, PDG Purisima approved the plan and told them, “Go, but I have to tell the President about this.”

Oplan Terminator was launched on November 29, 2014, but it was aborted en route to the target after the local boats the SAF rented and utlized, capsized.

The failed mission was personally communicated to PDG Purisima, who then reported it to the President while they were at a firing range in Malacanang Park, sometime in the first week of December 2014.  Apparently disappointed with the outcome of the mission, SAF officials recalled what the President told them.  “Haste makes waste.  You did not do your homework.”

Refusing to be discouraged, SAF initiated Oplan Terminator 2 in the second week of December 2014, using rubber boats this time.  However, the mission was called-off again after a firefight erupted between the Assault Force of SAF and a heavily armed group that they encountered along the river while on their way to the target in Barangay Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Yet again, on December 18, 2014, Train presented a re-structured mission plan to key officers of SAF in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.  Napeñas and his Deputy, Police Chief Superintendent Noli Taliño, were present in the meeting.  The result of the discussions laid the basis for devising a new operational plan – Oplan Exodus.

The AFP also learned about the planned operation in Central Mindanao after PDG Purisima raised the subject during a casual conversation with the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (CSAFP) General  Gregorio Catapang.

On the same day that Train was presenting the re-structured plan in Camp Bagong Diwa, top PNP and military officials were briefed about the operations against the two (2) HVTs at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The meeting involved PDG Purisima and Napeñas.  During this conference, CSAFP Catapang said that he had signified support to the mission and gave guidance to Lieutenant General Rustico Guerrero, Area Commander of the AFP Western Mindanao Command, and Major General Edmundo Pangiiinan, Division Commander of 6ID, to support the LEO somewhere in Mamasapano, Maguindano.

The said military and police officials agreed to meet in Zamboanga City to conceptualize a plan.  However, their meeting did not materialize because Police Senior Superintenden t Fernando Mendez, the Acting Director of the PNP Intelligence Group (IG) who was supposed to present the intelligence packet, did not arrive.

On December 27, 2014, Mangahis – the Battalion Commander of the 34d SAB (Special Action Battalion of SAF) – convened a conference with his counterparts in the 1st, 4th, 5th and Rapid Deployment Battalions; and the CO of the 34th SAC or Seaborne at the SAF Headquarters in Bicutan, as directed by Napenas.  He presented Oplan Exodus and announced the designation of Police Superintendent Hendrix Mangaldan as the Ground Commander of the operation.

item. paragraph 13:

One Sunday night in early November 2014, Napenas received a call from the already suspended CPNP PDG Purisima, who directed him to work with the PNP Intelligence Group regarding the developments in the search for Marwan and Usman.

correction: purisima was suspended december 4, 2014.  so in early november, when he started the ball rolling for oplan terminator 1 in late november followed by oplan terminator 2 on december 2, purisima was still PNP chief.  it would seem that it was also early in november when the americans started sharing marwan intel with purisima and his intelligence group.  it is also quite likely that even after he was suspended, the americans preferred to continue dealing, and continued dealing, only with purisima and SAF.

item. paragraphs 21-23… december 18, 2014, re oplan exodus:

… top PNP and military officials were briefed about the operations against the two (2) HVTs at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The meeting involved PDG Purisima and Napeñas.  During this conference, CSAFP Catapang said that he had signified support to the mission and gave guidance to Lieutenant General Rustico Guerrero, Area Commander of the AFP Western Mindanao Command, and Major General Edmundo Pangilinan, Division Commander of 6ID, to support the LEO somewhere in Mamasapano, Maguindano.

The said military and police officials agreed to meet in Zamboanga City to conceptualize a plan.  However, their meeting did not materialize because Police Senior Superintenden t Fernando Mendez, the Acting Director of the PNP Intelligence Group (IG) who was supposed to present the intelligence packet, did not arrive.

so why has no one asked mendez of the PNP intel group why he did not attend that meeting with catapang et al?  i suspect that he, as well as purisima and napeñas, were under orders of the americans to keep the intelligence packet close to their chests so as not to imperil the mission yet again.

everyone seems to be holding back on the extent of the american hand in the mamasapano debacle, which tells me that we will never know the truth. unless, of course, napeñas starts telling all he knows in open session, let the chips falls where they may.

*

Marwan’s calls tapped by Christine F. Herrera
A layman’s Mamasapano scenario by Leandro DD Coronel
Rifles taken by Army ended up with MILF by Jarius Bondoc

11 Responses to man up, sirs!

  1. April 14, 2015 at 3:33 pm
    john c. jacinto

    Ang kakatwa sa SAF ay sapagkat hindi daw sila nag-coordinate sa AFP dahil wala silang tiwala dito. Sinarili nila ang operasyon mula sa pagpaplano hanggang sa implementasyon nito.

    Ngunit nang nagkandaletse-letse na ang operasyon (na puwedeng pwede naman na ikansela ni Napeñas matapos lumagpas sila sa takdang oras noong madaling araw ng Enero 25), ay bigla na silang may tiwala at pananalig sa AFP na hayun na nga – humingi na sila ng tulong dito.

    Hehehe. ‘Yan ang mahirap sa magaling magsarili.

    • April 15, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      unfair to blame napenas only as clearly he was under orders, whether from the prez or the americans or both, both knowing the possible peril to the peace process. the AFP could have been more helpful.

      • April 16, 2015 at 10:14 am
        ricelander

        A rough analogy would be that of a symphony orchestra. Walang conductor na may hawak ng baton.

        The defenders make so much of the directive to Napeñas to coordinate with the AFP. But to coordinate goes with the power to command. That power resides in the PNP and AFP heads not with him. Imagine Napeñas who is a few rungs down below directly calling Catapang. Imagine Catapang directly receiving instructions from Napeñas not from his counterpart PNP head or the President. Imagine the AFP field commanders receiving directive from PNP officials and not from their AFP superiors.

        • April 16, 2015 at 10:22 am
          ricelander

          They say the President exercised his prerogative in dealing directly Napeñas. Then washes his hands of the consequences. He could very well have dealt with a master sergeant and say it was his prerogative as a President.

          Poor Napeñas. Even for him, the realization must have come to him too late in the day.

          • April 16, 2015 at 10:39 am

            poor napeñas indeed. caught between the devil (purisima) and the deep blue sea (america). it’s not like he had a choice.

  2. April 15, 2015 at 1:54 pm
    manuelbuencamino

    “so. finally, general napeñas has responded to the AFP’s derogation of his mamasapano maps as google maps lang. on the second consecutive day of hearings in the house of reps, he revealed that the maps were provided by the americans, no less.”

    so. It does not change anything. Google maps pa rin yun at hindi magpapaputok ng artillery ang AFP based on Google maps, regardless of the faith that Napeñas and his American advisers have on Larry Page.

    Puwede natin paniwalaan ang storya nung dalawang SAF officers o puwede din natin paniwalaan yung dalawang sundalo na pumasok sa putukan at nag rescue and retrieval. Depende na lang yan kung kanino tayo kumakampi.

    • April 15, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      how about, lahat kampihan. paniwalaan natin lahat. the truth is somewhere in the middle, and we can figure that out for ourselves if only we were allowed to hear all sides, no holds barred. until then, wala lang, kampi-kampi lang.

      • April 17, 2015 at 3:43 pm
        manuelbuencamino

        There is no middle ground when both sides accuse each other of lying.
        1. Are the maps actionable? No says the AFP. Yes says the PNP
        2. PNP says hindi kami tinulungan. AFP says tumulong kami pero yun PNP ayaw tumulong sa mismo nilang mga tao.

        Saan ang middle ground diya?
        1. Sa maps, kung may middle ground that would be the maps were pwede o pasable na. So the next question will be bakit hindi kayo nagpaputok e meron naman pa lang general location? Sagot naman, e paano kung may tinamaan na tao natin? So balik na naman tayo kung ano talaga yung mapa.

        2. Parang maps din ito kaya lang mas mahirap pang malaman ang totoo kasi, maliban sa mapapahiya either ang AFP or ang PNP, kung totoo ang sinabi nung AFP resuce team na ayaw o hesitant nga na pumasok yung mga PNP sa battle area para tumulong, e we might as well disband the SAF kasi hindi na aasa ang mga iyan sa isa’t isa kung mapaenkwentro sila ulit. Kung AFP naman ang nagsisinungaling e di kalimutan na natin ang AFP-PNP coordination sa maski anong future operations at baka sila-sila na ang magbarilan sa isa’t-isa

        • April 17, 2015 at 5:18 pm

          puro kung. we just don’t know enough.

          • April 20, 2015 at 4:22 pm
            manuelbuencamino

            Seems like the public has had its fill. Doesn’t look like it cares for more servings from media. It’s usually what happens to cranked-up stories where conclusions are drawn before all the facts are in.

  3. April 19, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    The buck stops at the Commander-in-chief, Pres. Aquino, who approved the Oplan Exodus. The chain of command was not followed and hence, hence, lack of coordination, an important factor in the success of the plan, contributed significantly to its tragic end. No need to debate on command responsibility. Pres. Pinoy started with a wrong foot by appointing a suspended director to assume the delegation of ground operation.

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