Who really killed Marwan? | Inquirer News

Who really killed Marwan?

Police asset got terrorist before SAF raid, says group
By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 03:16 AM February 21, 2016

marwan dead lite

Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir (also known as “Marwan”) lies dead in his hut, his possessions in disarray after a surprise raid by members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF).  Caught unaware in his hideout, the bomb expert with a $6-million reward on his head shot it out with the raiding team and was killed. But the gunfire alerted Marwan’s security and other Moro rebels in the area who ended up killing 44 members of the PNP-SAF in an 11-hour firefight in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

A plan to kill Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, using a small of group police assets had been completed when Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos barged in with guns blazing, leading to the deaths of more than 60 people, according to the findings of a party-list group that investigated the Jan. 25, 2015, Mamasapano clash.

READ: Mindanao party-list group identifies aide who killed Marwan


The assets were recruited by Director General Alan Purisima, then the PNP chief, and Director Charles T. Calima Jr., then the head of the PNP Directorate for Intelligence.


One of the assets, named Commander Kokoy, warned the police not to send forces to Mamasapano because hostile groups controlled the village.

Despite the warning, the SAF went in, inviting a violent response from the hostile groups and “Oplan Exodus,” the SAF counterterrorism operation to take down Marwan, ended with 44 police commandos, 17 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters and three civilians dead.

Oplan Exodus and the assets’ mission to kill Marwan appear to be parallel operations to get the terrorist, for whose capture dead or alive the US government had offered a reward of $5 million and the Philippine government P7 million.

One of the police assets was Datukan Singgagao (not Sanggagao as reported earlier), an aide to Marwan who carried out the dirty job.

Napeñas knew it

Anti-War Anti-Terrorism (Awat) Mindanao leader Jose “Peping” Agduma told the Inquirer by phone that police Director Getulio Napeñas, the former SAF commander, knew about the plan to use assets in the operation.


Agduma said Napeñas knew that Singgagao would be the one to kill Marwan and cut off the terrorist’s finger for DNA identification.

“Yes, he is very much aware of the plan. It is in the action agents’ affidavits, which can be revealed only at a proper forum. Napeñas is crying for justice for his men but the truth is, he is liable. He also knows the truth,” Agduma said.

Awat Mindanao, a party-list group with a vast network in Mindanao, is calling for a reopening of the Mamasapano investigation to look into the police assets’ mission and learn once and for all what really happened.

Awat Mindanao had done a yearlong investigation of the Mamasapano clash and found that it was Singgagao and not the SAF that killed Marwan.

The narration of Commander Kokoy is part of Awat Mindanao’s investigation report, a copy of which the group had provided the media, including the Inquirer.

Agduma said his group had also sent copies of the report to Senators Grace Poe and Juan Ponce Enrile before the Senate reopened its Mamasapano investigation on Jan. 27.

It was Commander Kokoy who recruited Singgagao, his childhood friend, for the operation. The assets were promised a P50-million reward by Purisima and Calima.

Cotabato meeting

Commander Kokoy told the party-list group that in 2014, he and his fellow assets, called “action agents” by the police, met with Calima, a certain Colonel Espejo, a certain Major Arandia and a few other PNP personnel at Al Nour Hotel in Cotabato City.

It was at this meeting where Commander Kokoy mapped out for the PNP officials the terrain where Marwan was located. It was agreed that only one person would execute Marwan.

“At first, the PNP wanted to have the body delivered to them. I suggested, however, that a finger be taken from the body instead because one person could not possibly carry the body. So we agreed on this,” Commander Kokoy said in the Awat report.

“We agreed that there was no need for a commando-type operation to enter the area where Marwan was located in order to prevent loss of lives because there were several different groups in the area,” he said.

The operation carried out by the commandos, as planned by the SAF, was compromised after one of them tripped on a booby trap, which exploded and alerted Marwan, his bodyguards and other armed groups in the vicinity.

An intense, hours-long firefight ensued, costing the SAF strike force, the 84th Special Action Company (SAC), nine of its members.

Several kilometers away, the SAF’s 55th SAC also battled it out with armed men in the middle of a cornfield. Of the 35 members of the 55th SAC, only one survived.

The deaths of the 44 SAF commandos ignited a public outcry that became President Aquino’s worst political crisis, during which his lowest public approval ratings fell to their lowest in five years.

The Mamasapano debacle also led to the shelving of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which would have completed a peace agreement signed by the government and the MILF in 2014.

Palace: SAF killed Marwan

Malacañang on Saturday stood by President Benigno Aquino III’s statement that it was the SAF that killed Marwan.

“The President is always very transparent about these things. He said there were reports like this [that] we could not just set aside and ignore, that is why we had to look into it, analyze and look at the evidence. But the President also said that after looking at the evidence and studying them, and this includes the independent study of the Senate, it appears the alternative theory has no basis,” Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said.

PNP Investigation and Detective Management Director Benjamin Magalong, who headed the police board of inquiry that investigated the Mamasapano clash, also insisted that it was the SAF that killed Marwan.

“Anybody can claim, ‘I killed Marwan.’ But where is their evidence?” Magalong said.

READ: ‘Marwan killed by aide’

“Why only now, and where is their evidence? That is all. As an investigating and fact-finding body, we look at the evidence,” he said.

Magalong said the board of inquiry never received information such as disclosed by Awat Mindanao during its investigation in Tukanalipao village in Mamasapano last year.

“If we had, we would have checked it out,” he said.

Exhumation of Marwan

Awat Mindanao has offered to help the government exhume the body of Marwan, as it knows where the terrorist was buried, but Magalong said that was up to the group.

“But why only know when the investigation’s already [finished]? They should have done that before. Why didn’t they come forward when we were investigating?” Magalong said.

Asked if it could have anything to do with claimants to the reward, Magalong said: “As far as I know, the [P7 million] reward has been claimed, but I’m not sure about the [$5 million] reward.”

Magalong confirmed that the SAF employed an informant who pointed out Marwan’s location. He said the informant was a civilian.

Agduma challenged President Aquino to explain why he retracted the statement he made at the Inquirer Multimedia Forum on Sept. 8 last year that there was an “alternative version of events” and that he was having it verified.

“The President should explain again the alternative truth,” Agduma said.

At a news conference on Friday, Awat Mindanao called for a reopening of the Mamasapano investigation but that it should only be done by an independent body, comprised of business, civic and religious leaders.

Agduma said a new investigation would give Awat a proper venue to present the action agents that Purisima and Calima worked with, among them Commander Kokoy, one Arthur Uy, reportedly an MILF member and one Timtim, a brother of Kague Kadialen Dalimbang (also known as Mohiden Ananimbang), the chief of staff of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Asset’s weapon

Agduma also said that the action agents could lead investigators to Marwan’s body for exhumation. Morever, Awat has in its possession Singgagao’s M203, which he used to kill Marwan.

It was Commander Kokoy who recovered the weapon, as well as Singgagao’s body, which he found some 30 meters away from Marwan’s hut.

It was Commander Kokoy, and not Singgagao as earlier reported, who built a hut some 500 meters away from Marwan’s hut, using money given by Purisima.

He also purchased a solar panel. Living near Marwan enabled him to monitor the terrorist and inform the authorities. With a report from Jaymee T. Gamil



Aide betrayed Marwan

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

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.

Was torching of Marwan’s hut a cover-up as to who really killed the terrorist?

TAGS: Marwan, MILF fighters, SAF, SAF 44, SAF Commandos

© Copyright 1997-2024 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.