Still no court-martial for 4 Army officers


AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa INQUIRER PHOTO

Despite the recommendations of an Army panel, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has yet to begin court-martial proceedings against four Army commanders in connection with the Oct. 18, 2011 deaths of 19 soldiers in an encounter with Muslim secessionist rebels in Al Barka, Basilan.

AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Jessie Dellosa received the panel’s findings at the end of January but he has yet to act on it.

In a phone interview with reporters Wednesday, Lieutenant General Emmanuel Bautista, head of the Army, admitted that the pretrial panel had recommended the case for military trial.

The panel, led by deputy judge advocate general Lieutenant Colonel Liberato Ramos, found enough ground to try four senior officers for negligence and lapses that led to the death of 19 Special Forces troops and the serious injury of 14 others in an encounter with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels in Al Barka last October 18.

The officers will be charged with “violation of Article of War 97 or conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline in conjunction with criminal negligence under Article 365 in the Revised Penal Code.”

Colonel Aminkadra Undog is the most senior of those implicated. He is the immediate former head of the Army Special Forces Regiment. Acknowledged for his successes in the field, Undog was decorated for his role in the 2003 capture of notorious Abu Sayyaf bandit leader Commander Robot (real name Galib Andang), who was killed two years later in a prison siege.

The others charged are Colonel Alexander Macario, former head of the Special Operations Task Force (SOTF) Basilan; Lieutenant Colonel Leo Pena, former head of the 4th Special Forces Battalion in charge of the troops deployed that fateful day; and Lieutenant Colonel Orlando Edralin, former commandant of the Special Forces Training School.

Most of the soldiers involved in the encounter had just finished a military scuba training course and were deployed in Basilan for the first time.

A ceasefire between the government and the MILF was in place at the time.

The MILF, which claimed to have lost five men in the eight-hour gun battle, had claimed their fighters raised their weapons because they were not informed about the military’s movements—said to be a police operation in the area.

Last month, the MILF announced it has suspended for three months its deputy commander in Basilan, Dan Laksaw Asnawi, and two other commanders it did identify for the Al Barka clash.

The MILF said it meted the suspension based on the findings of the Malaysia-led International Monitoring Team (IMT) that both the AFP and the MILF were at fault for not observing the ceasefire agreement.

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  • andoybarrios

    what else is new?

  • katabay1106

    Where is that All out Justice for our slain soldiers? They are butchered like pigs by the MILF and our AFP did nothing to avenged their death. Have our AFP lost the will to fight? Just asking.

  • Jon

    Namatayan na nga ng kasamahan,
    Di pa pinayangang tugisin at hulihin ang mga rebeldeng kriminal
    Kakasuhan pa ngayon ng negligence.
    Low morale ba tayo ngayon AFP?

    • Bom

      kasalanan nila kung bakit namatayan sila ng kasamahan..palpak e..low morale?..asa pa ang yayaman nga ng mga opsiyal nyo e..hahaha

  • gener ver

    Ang problema kaya walang nakakasuhan dahil mga opisyal are protecting each other. Gaya na lang sa SC.

  • Bom


  • Tirador Ngbuwaya

    Why court martial these army officers? Hindi naman sila ang kalaban. Ang nag maseker sa mga army soldiers ay ang MILF. . . Ang MILF ang kalaban. . .

  • laguar

    When it is the CinC’s interest  at stake. the foot soldier is legitimate cannon fodder.

  • BB_Tanggal_Ari_vs_Tabing_Itlog

    Dapat pati yong MILF isama para pantay.

  • Manuel_II

     Why Court Martial for the 4 Army Officers, they are not the one who directly killed the 19 Soldiers, this Government should stop sleeping with the enemy and wipe them out, we need justice for the 19 soldiers and the government is doing it wrong. LOL

  • Tirador Ngbuwaya

    These army officers are not ordinary soldiers, they are highly decorated officers who have risked their lives for the country. THE  MILF outlaws were the murderers, this court martial is wrong ! Just let loose these  4 army officers  and they will kill all those murderers. . . DISSOLVE this court martial proceedings. . .let these soldiers do their job. . . ang dapat nyong i-court martial yung mga former chiefs of staff na nagnakaw ng milyon. . . 

  • Malik62

    Peace Adviser Ging Deles is coddling the NPA, MILF and Abu Sayaf. The junior officers in the AFP call Deles a NINCOMPOOP!   

  • romero

    magandang laruan ng malaysia itong ..mga militar natin…puros bobo kasi…imagine both where at fault not observing the ceasefire agreement.. court matial ninyo daw ang 4  apat na officer ninyo ..kasi puros bobo daw kayo…ang tanong sino ang unang na maril…may umamin ba sa dalawa…? wala…! ngayon..bakit ..19 agad ang patay…may court martial din …ba sa MILF…wala… diba..?! so ibig sabihin nila..talagang bobo ang patakbo ninyo…kahit ka graduate lang ng scuba ang mga iyon…kung talagang punteryado na sila…ay wala magagawa…kahit boy scout lang ang ipadala mo doon…sitting duck na talaga sila.

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