The last stand, according to SAF OIC Noli Taliño
The following timeline of the antiterror operation in Maguindanao province on Jan. 25 that cost the lives of 44 police commandos is based on the eulogy of Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, Philippine National Police-Special Action Force officer in charge.
Jan. 25, Sunday—“Oplan Exodus” is launched against Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as “Marwan.” The main effort One, composed of the members of the 84th Special Action Company (SAC), sneaks into Marwan’s hideout unnoticed.
A text message stating “Mike One, bingo” reaches the Tactical Command Post (TCP), including Taliño and Police Director Getulio Napeñas. Mike One refers to Marwan and the message means the mission is accomplished.
Around dawn—While the troops are pulling out from the area of operation, they notice enemies gathering and establishing positions from a distance. Those at the TCP think of ways to extract the troops already engaging the enemies.
7 a.m. —The radioman of the 55th SAC, the main effort Two, calls for reinforcements. Support troops are sent from different approaches but they cannot penetrate because the 55th SAC is practically surrounded.
1 p.m. —The radio goes silent. Inquirer Research
Source: Inquirer archives
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