SAF officer urges Col. Del Rosario: ‘Man up!’
TENSION between the police and military was on display Wednesday during the House of Representatives’ investigation on the Mamasapano tragedy when an officer of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) urged a high ranking Army official to “man up.”
Supt. Michael John Mangahis, a SAF officer, challenged the statement of 1st Mechanized Brigade Commanding Officer Col. Gener Del Rosario that they do not know the coordinates of the location of the SAF troopers involved in the counterterrorist operation in Barangay (village) Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25.
“Alam po nila (military) yan, sir. May mga tao po sila diyan. Hindi po ako naniniwala na wala po silang assets diyan,” Mangahis said.
“Yung sinasabi po ni Col. Del Rosario, hindi ko po masasabi kung sino ang kausap niya pero ang sinasabi niya pero ‘peace process’ ang binabanggit niyo. So man up, sir, man up,” he said.
Before the statement given by Mangahis, Del Rosario claimed that the SAF officer cannot even give the exact location and number of SAF troopers on the ground.
But the Mangahis said that he has explained the details of the mission “properly” to Del Rosario.
“I believe that during our first meeting with Col. Del Rosario, we have properly explained to him the position of the troops,” Mangahis said in Filipino.
Yet Del Rosario said that only endpoints were given to him.
“I believe, sir, matagal na silang (AFP and police personnel) magkasama sa ground, sir. Alam na alam nila yan. Wala pong dahilan para ma-determine ang location and position,” Mangahis said.
Meanwhile, Chief Supt. Noli Taliño said that Del Rosario knew of the coordinates of the SAF troops as evidenced by a text message the commander sent to him.
Taliño also claimed that Maj. Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, prioritized the peace process over sending artillery support to the engaged SAF troopers.
“Sabi ko, ‘Gener (Del Rosario) baka puwede kami mag-request ng artillery?’ Sagot niya, ‘Sa akin, sir, walang problema pero hindi pumayag si division commander (Maj. Pangilinan) dahil sa peace process at sa mga sibilyan,” Taliño narrated.
The BOI report earlier reported that Pangilinan placed primacy on the peace process rather than sending needed artillery to beleaguered troopers. AC
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