Reinforcement never came – SAF commando

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SAGADA MOUNTAIN PROVINCE: A member of the Special Action Force (SAF) tasked to take out international terrorist Zulkifli “Marwan” Abdhir lived to tell his tale during the burial ceremonies of PO3 Noel Golocan, one of the 44 comman-dos killed in Maguindanao.

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The commando, who requested anonymity, said the 78 PNP-SAF members were fighting Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members and the terrorists belonging to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) when they sent repeated calls for reinforcements.

“We already finished our target and went towards the blocking force located around 1.2 kilometers away. We heard sounds of gunfire from their direction”, he said.

He recalled that 36 SAF troopers from the 84th Seaborne Batallion were divided into four teams and tasked to enter barangay Pidsandawan at dawn of January 25 to arrest Marwan and Filipino bomber Abdul Basit Usman.

He added that another 36 SAF members from the 55th SAF Batallion were positioned in the cornfields to secure the exit of the 84th Batallion in the operation called Oplan Wolverine.

“But the [enemy]bullets were coming from different directions. That is why we requested for reinforcements. But there was none even with out repeated requests,” the source added.

He also said that with nine 84th Seaborne Battalion members already dead and 35 from the 55th Special Action Battalion also lying motionless, they (remaining 34) decided to maneuver out of the area.

“It was around 11 p.m. [of January 25]when reinforcement came. We moved out of Mamasapano around 12:30 a.m.,” he said.

The surviving commando hopes that suspended SAF Chief Getulio Napeñas can explain the failure to reinforce and save the lives of the 44 fallen SAF men.

“I’m sure Napeñas was following the orders of those above him. He is bound to obey those orders,” the source also said. He was among those who attended the burial rites of Golocan in Sagada, Mountain Province.

Golocan belonged to the 55th SAF Batallion and was a member of the blocking force.

Born and reared in the mining community of Mankayan, Benguet, PO3 Golocan finished his elementary and high school education at Lepanto High School.

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8 Comments

  1. What reinforcement? The SAF keep on talking about not getting reinforcement. What for? Did the SAF intend to hold ground? After all, it was the 84th SAF Company which assaulted Marwan’s hut. The unit asking for reinforcement was the 55th, the so-called Blocking Force. So what reinforcement are we talking about here. It was supported to be a lightning raid – assault, neutralize, pull-out. What reinforcement?

  2. SAF could only blame itself for not coordinating with other military branch. They want the trophy by themselves. But when trouble comes they start blaming others. This is directed to SAF commanders and Pnoy.

    • It was supposed to be the SAF commanders and Pinoy coordinating the mission. SAF was instructed to the job and wait only for command by their superior Pinoy.

  3. My humble opionion regarding 44 Saf fallen heros is they did not died in vain they died in service because of thier country and thier fellow men they they should be considered martyrs.

  4. Carl Cid Inting on

    Malacañang is circling the wagons, while leaving Napeñas out in the cold as a sacrificial offering. Meanwhile it accepts Purisima’s “resignation” even as Purisima pleads innocence, claiming he had nothing to do with “Wolverine”. So why accept Purisima’s resignation? To prevent the conflagration from reaching Malacañang?

  5. So the only person who knew who gave the order to stand down despite the desperate call from the fallen 44 is Gen Napenas? Until now Napenas is mum about this so it is very obvious that Malacanang now is restraining him and possible whitewash is going to happen. Hence, no amount of very many investigations will ferret out the truth if Napenas is already being gagged. The truth to the Mamasapano massacre will never come unless Aquino is still the President. And to Noynoy, the Peace process is more important than the lives of his 44 SAF Commandos even if the other party to such peace talk is violating the ceasefire agreement. Aquino had already given billions of money to the MILF controlled province for development just to forge a Peace Pact but those MILF leaders cannot even impose discipline to their fighters and followers.

  6. Thirteen of the 44 commandos killed are from my Cordillera region. That’s 30% compared to 2% of the Philippines population in the Cordillera region. From what I read from other sources, close to 400 SAF “commandos” were involved in the operation but only a quarter actually went to do the work. The rest were kept away from the fight and would not even go with the army when the army finally intervened. Of the 13 from my region, 3 of them were from my province of Ifugao. I saw a photo of retired General Allaga of the marines and a veteran of the Mindanao wars, attending the funeral of Police Officer Allaga. They are of Banaue, the center of our famous Ifugao Rice Terraces. Based on the numbers above, I feel the warriors of my region where the warrior culture still runs strong are doing a disproportionate share of the fighting. Meanwhile, the people sending them out just playing politics or plain incompetent, perhaps never have fought themselves.

  7. This news is about the 84th and the 55th PNP-SAF battalions. What about the other battalions? The previous stories said that 390 or more PNP-SAF troops went on the mission.
    The combat-experience shows that the PNP needs to obtain 4 or more helicopter-gunships.