Duterte blames CIA for botched terror raid

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MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) secretly orchestrated a botched raid targeting an alleged Islamic terrorist that left 44 Filipino policemen dead two years ago.

Police commandos killed Zulkifli Abdhir, who was on the US government’s list of “Most Wanted Terrorists”, in the raid in remote farmland in the southern Philippines, where various Muslim separatist rebel groups and more hardline militants are based.

However Muslim gunmen ambushed the attacking police commandos and killed 44 of them in a day-long battle, with a Philippine Senate investigation blaming poor planning and coordination for the deaths.

The raid was carried out during the term of Duterte’s predecessor Benigno Aquino 3rd. It derailed Aquino’s efforts to forge a peace pact with the nation’s main Muslim separatist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), to end a decades-long rebellion.


“It was an American adventure with the cooperation of some, and apparently with your blessing,” Duterte said, referring to Aquino.

“Why was it kept under wraps? It was actually an operation of the CIA.”

Duterte made the allegations in a speech to widows and other relatives of the 44 policemen killed in the raid, after receiving them at the Malacañang presidential palace.

Duterte has during his seven months in office sought to loosen the Philippines’ longtime alliance with the United States while forging closer ties with China and Russia.

The controversial politician has branded former US president Barack Obama a “son of a whore”, and made unsubstantiated accusations that the CIA is plotting to assassinate him.

Aquino had justified the police raid, saying that Zulkifli had been training militants in the southern Philippines in how to make bombs.

The United States had said Zulkifli was a top militant in the Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah.

A Philippine Senate report into the raid concluded the United States played a “substantial” role by providing training, equipment and intelligence to the Filipino forces.

However it did not refer to the CIA.

Responding to the Senate report in 2015, a US government official told AFP at the time: “This operation was planned and executed by Philippine authorities. We refer you to them for details of the operation.”

Spokesmen for the US embassy in Manila and Aquino did not immediately reply to requests for reaction to Duterte’s latest comments.

Duterte also alleged on Tuesday Aquino held back reinforcements and let the commandos die because the government did not want to risk a fresh war with the MILF, which had signed a peace agreement 10 months earlier.

“It is not enough to tell the people it was your fault. You (Aquino) must tell me what you did. You fed the soldiers to the lion’s den to be eaten by death,” Duterte said. AFP

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10 Comments

  1. Using American Drone, it should be easy for SAF 44 to escape but Pnoy never retaliate the advancing MILF and let SAF 44 die for the sake of peace agreement. Pnoy afraid to point that the instruction came from the CIA. Sen. Grace Poe stop the investigation up to Pnoy and never involved the CIA. When Enrile re-open the investigation, he abruptly close it when he came to know that the CIA were involve.

  2. The only People responsible for those Deaths are the Terrorist, Not Aquino, CIA or anyone else. this happens sometimes, not everything goes as planned sometimes, At least he had the nerve to try to fight them which is more then anyone can say for you Mr. Duterte. there are many botched Military Operations in the World of War. This wont be the first and wont be the last. sometimes I feel as you have a soft spot for the Muslim extremest.You should stop being so weak because when they spread alot more then 44 will die. Probably soon there will be open hunting season on all Catholics in your Country including the Philippine Children. You just cannot say you don’t want a war with these People because innocent Muslim Civilians will die. Whats going to happen once they blow a mall up with hundreds the 44 Officers God rest their Soul will be the least of your problems.

  3. Yes Mr. DIRTY, I also do not like our x-president, although I do respect the office.You like calling his mother a whore, but aren’t you pimping out yourself to China and Russia, hence making yourself a Whore? Remember the past.
    But for the United States, you’d be speaking Japanese.

    • Mr. Ekola, what past about China and Russia that was abhorrent for Filipinos?
      But if the past, you are referring is about the atrocities committed by Americans to our moro brothers in Mindanao, then the Duterte must be right!

  4. It is called “COMMAD RESPONSIBLITY”!

    President Aquino is responsible of all the hulabaloo!

  5. It took a president like Duterte to openly accuse the CIA of involvement and participation. Everyone knows how this notorious CIA operates. The families of the victims and the people would be very thankful and grateful if Duterte finally go after the ones responsible including the bald retarded Aquino.

  6. so what if CIA is involved they are trying to help us capture a high value terrrosist target. we should be thankful to them. it the PNP leadership and ground commanders who screwed up the operation. nothing more nothing less.

    • This high value target never did anything illegal in the PH. He was a wanted man on the books of the US. If the CIA did not get involved the SAF 44 would still be alive today.

  7. What about the killing of Jee the Korean national. Who do you blame for this criminal act. Mr. President ???