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2 MILF commanders to be punished for failure of intelligence on Marwan

/ 08:52 PM March 24, 2015

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—The Special Investigative Commission (SIC) of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has recommended the imposition of appropriate disciplinary action against erring officials of the two base commands of its Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) for failure of intelligence work in determining the presence of suspected terrorists such as Zulkifli Bin Hir, alias Marwan.

The SIC, in its 37-page report, said there was a “glaring failure of intelligence” committed by the 105th Base Command and 118th Base Command when they did not “intercept and monitor the entry of Marwan (Zulkifli Bin Hir) and (Abdul Basit) Usman in the area near the communities of the MILF.”

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“The same failure of intelligence is true with respect to the entry of the more or less 300 PNP-SAF into the MILF community in Barangay Tukanalipao,” the SIC report said.

The SIC said ideally, every movement of government forces and other armed groups in MILF communities must be monitored and correspondingly reported.

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The 105th base command is led by Ustadz Zacaria Goma while Ustadz Wahid Tundok is 118th base command commander.

The SIC report also said that while it was true that the houses occupied by Marwan and Usman were in Barangay Pembalkan, Mamasapano, some three kilometers away from the MILF communities, “a good intelligence operation should have enabled these Base Commands to detect and report the presence of Usman and Marwan to the BIAF Command.”

“The laxity exhibited by the two Base Commands, perhaps influenced by the over-confidence in the relative peace obtaining in their communities brought about by the ceasefire agreement with the government and the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro, should not go unnoticed. This attitude should not be tolerated,” the document stated.

“The Commission therefore recommends that the leadership imposes appropriate disciplinary action against the erring officials of the 105 BC and 118 BC,” the SIC report said.

Marwan was killed in Barangay Pembalkan in Mamasapano, which is about three kilometers away from Tukanalipao village where MILF combatants of the 105th BC are based.

The SIC report also said the hut where Marwan was killed belonged to Ustadz Baguindali who died in 2008. The MILF said it did not know that Marwan and Usman had moved in Pembalkan village.

“When Marwan was killed, he was with the group of Basit Usman in the vicinity where the BIFF and the breakaway group of Mohammad Ali Tambako are based,” the report said.

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Usman’s hut was located some 119 meters away from Marwan’s. Both the huts are surrounded by corn farms and banana trees and isolated from other houses in Pembalkan.

The Commission repeatedly emphasized that “Pembalkan is not an MILF-controlled area, the area is frequented by elements of the BIFF and the forces of Tambako.”

The SIC said its interview with residents indicated that Marwan “introduced himself as Madz. The residents never knew the person living in the hut was Marwan.”

In the Commission’s ocular inspection, they found out that “there were very few bullet holes on the wall of the hut where Marwan was found and killed. The trajectory of the bullets also indicate that the fatal shot did not come from the shots fired outside the house as the bullet holes are roughly 18 inches above the floor.”

“If the shots were fired while Marwan was lying down, he could have not been hit, while if he was standing and engaged the elements of the SAF in a firefight, the injuries sustained should have been at his lower body and not on the chest,” the report added.

The report also said there were no indications of bomb explosions as there were no craters on the ground around the hut.

“Neither is there indication of an intense firefight in or around the hut,” the report said.

This is contrary to earlier claims made by SAF survivor, Supt. Raymond Train, that Marwan detonated booby traps around the hut, and that there was a brief fighting that led to the killing of the suspected terrorist.

The 84th Special Action Company was the assault team in the operation against Marwan, while the 55th SAC served as the blocking force.

The SIC report added that the 84th SAC, as they were withdrawing from the area, clashed with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters some 900 meters from Marwan’s hut.

The SIC said it also received reports that Marwan was “buried by the forces of Mohammad Ali Tambako around the areas of Barangays Pembalkan and Dasikil,” known lairs of the BIFF and Tambako’s United Justice for Islamic Movement.

Tambako, former BIFF vice chair, formed the UJIM after he was expelled from the group for his alleged hand in the beheading of two farmers in North Cotabato in 2013. He was arrested in General Santos on March 15. SM/RC

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TAGS: 105th Base Command and 118th Base Command, atrocity, Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Basit Usman, BIAF, bloodshed, carnage, clash, covert operations, Encounter, fact finding, gun battle, inquiry, intelligence, investigation, law enforcement, Mamasapano debacle, Mamasapano massacre, Mamasapano mission, manhunt for terrorists, Marwan, Massacre, massacre of policemen, Mohammad Ali Tambako, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, News, Philippine National Police, pursuit operations, Raymond Train, Special Action Force, Special Investigative Commission, United Justice for Islamic Movement, Ustadz Wahid Tundok, Ustadz Zacaria Goma, Zulkifli bin Hir
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