At least 250 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) may have been killed when they clashed with police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, according to suspended Special Action Force (SAF) commander Chief Supt. Getulio Napeñas.
Napeñas on Monday told the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs that the MILF suffered heavy casualties during the firefight with the commandos last January 25, contrary to the rebel group’s claim that only 18 of its members were killed.
The suspended SAF chief said he based his estimate on information given to him by Supt. Raymond Train, the overall commander of the SAF assault force, who said he shot at least 30 attackers.
Supt. Christopher Lalan, the lone survivor of the 55th Company was quoted by Napeñas as saying that his group alone gunned down more than 100 members not only of the MILF and BIFF but also private armed groups that may have joined the fighting.
Train, also one of the Mamasapano survivors who was not from the 55th Company, said he also shot at least 25 Muslim rebels.
According to Napeñas, Train also said the entire assault force of close to 400 police commandos could have shot at least 150 of the separatists.
Forty-four of the commandos died in the clash.