Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Mamasapano issue

Former President Fidel V. Ramos issued a statement on the Mindanao peace process and enumerated what he believes are the possible reasons behind Sunday's bloodshed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Ramos, who founded the police Special Action Force as chief of the Philippine Constabulary in 1983, found the irreparable loss of 44 commandos in Mamapasano town needless as the operation's targets are yet to be confirmed dead.

"The intended mission of the SAF contingent was to capture Malaysian Zulkifli Abdul Hir (also known as Marwan) and Filipino Basit Usman, both notorious terrorists," Ramos said. "Ironically, it has not been confirmed if these wanted criminals were fully accounted for."

"It is ... clear that the tragic happening was a combination of these factors," he said.

  • Inadequate confidence-building measures (CBMs) among the civilian-military-police stakeholders
  • Poor or lack of coordination
  • Faulty written SOPs and rules of engagement
  • Slipshod monitoring of the existing "ceasefire"
  • Between maneuver and fire support elements, lack of teamwork
  • Poor unit troop leadership
  • Poor tactical intelligence
  • Lack of sincerity to pursue peace on the part of the MILF
  • Inadequate command guidance from the higher commander
  • Poor strategic direction from the Commander-in-Chief

Ramos also said government peace negotiators should have consulted retired military and police officers who were assigned in Mindanao.

The Mamasapano operation—which involved nearly 400 PNP-SAF members—took a bloody turn. Some 44 elite cops were killed, while 12 were wounded in clash against members of the MILF.

According to MILF chief peace negotiator Mohaquer Iqbal the bloody clash erupted due to "the lack of coordination between the police and the proper governing bodies."

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