AFP chief: Aquino did not break chain of command; we failed to coordinate | Inquirer News

AFP chief: Aquino did not break chain of command; we failed to coordinate

/ 03:48 PM February 04, 2015
AFP chief Gregorio Catapang Jr.

AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr.

MANILA, Philippines—Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. said President Benigno Aquino III did not break the chain of command on the botched operations in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, which killed 44 police officers.

“I don’t think so because you know we were ordered by the President to coordinate and I think we failed in that order to coordinate,” he said at a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo on Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Catapang said they were aware of the plans against top terrorist Marwan as early as November 2014 but was not informed of the actual date.

Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero, chief of AFP Western Mindanao Command, relieved Special Action Force (SAF) chief Police Director Getulio Napeñas Jr., Army’s 6th Infantry Division chief Maj. Gen. Eduardo Pangilinan and Maj. Gen. Emeraldo Magnaye of the Air Force 3rd Air Division met last Dec. 23 to iron out details for the operations.

FEATURED STORIES

“Unfortunately, there was no outcome of the meeting because I was told by General Guerrero that General Napeñas did not discuss the coordination. There was no coordination inasmuch as the intelligence chief was not around to discuss the concept of operations,” Catapang said.

On Jan. 25, members of the SAF were supposed to serve warrant to Jemaah Islamiyah leader Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan and Filipino bomber Basit Usman. Circulating reports said Marwan was killed in the clash but that was subject to DNA testing.

The police troops figured in an hours-long firefight with Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The military was heavily criticized for supposedly not being able to respond immediately to the request of reinforcements.

Coordination could have changed things in the botched operations, Catapang said.

“What they did was law enforcement operations, they can just come in and be able to exfiltrate but unfortunately their plan to exfiltrate before being seen by the various forces here failed, so I think that’s the price we have to pay for not having a well-coordinated plan on how to support them,” he said.

“Well you know when you go to war it takes weeks to prepare. Hindi ito party na, pare party tayo mamayang gabi, dala ka isang red wine, share mo ‘yun. It will take time for coordination because if we go there, we will have skirmishes with the MILF, BIFF and other armed group. So it was really a very difficult situation and we just have to manage it,” he added.

ADVERTISEMENT

RELATED STORIES

Ex-SAF chief: Purisima kept PNP OIC in the dark on Mamasapano operation

Senators tepid to proposal of holding joint congressional probe on SAF men killing

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Basit Usman, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, Eduardo Pangilinan, Emeraldo Magnaye, Getulio Napeñas Jr., Gregorio Catapang Jr., Jemaah Islamiyah, Maguindanao, Mamasapano, Marwan, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Rustico Guerrero, Special Action Force, Zulkifli bin Hir
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.