#Mamasapano:  Questions that Aquino Should Answer in his Address to the Nation

Posted: January 27, 2015 in All in a day's work, War on Terror
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  1. Who authorized the PNP-SAF operations against terror suspect Marwan? At what level was this decided? It is unbelievable that 392 supposedly elite SAF elements were mobilized against a high-value target on the US most-wanted list, and Malacanang says it knew nothing. That’s just unlikely for an operation of that scale and of that importance.


  1. Did the US provide intelligence for the operation against Marwan? The US has long been involved in operations against terror suspects including Marwan. In 2012, it was reported that the US Pacific Command provided real-time intelligence and helped in an airstrike that supposedly killed Marwan. The Mamasapano operation was supposedly triggered by the interception of a cellphone communication involving the target. Was the operation undertaken upon the directive of the US? What was the extent of US involvement in the actual operation? Was the operation approved because of the $5 million bounty dangled by the US?


  1. Why was the operation conducted exclusively by the PNP? Why is the AFP saying that there was no coordination between them and the PNP SAF? Is this a means to circumvent the processes of the ceasefire mechanism? Or were there other considerations? The firefight lasted several hours. Throughout this period, was the AFP ever notified or informed? Was there ever a PNP request for support during the fighting and was this request ever acted on by the AFP? If not, why so?


  1. Why was the MILF peace panel not notified of the operation considering it was being undertaken in an area that is a known territory of the MILF? Was this deliberate or was this an oversight on the part of the Aquino government? Based on the established protocols, who should have informed the MILF?


  1. Finally, did Aquino know of the operations? As commander-in-chief of the AFP, and as one who claims to support the peace process with the MILF, did Aquino have prior knowledge of the Mamasapano operation?


The Aquino government has a lot of explaining to do. The incident already has affected the peace process, including the congressional deliberations on the Bangsamoro Basic Law. Some quarters are also agitating for all-out war.


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