AND so erstwhile PNP Chief Alan Purisima has resigned! So what? It still has not made things clearer as far as who was truly in command of the situation during that fateful day. Is that gesture of accepting the resignation of Purisima meant to appease the grieving nation? I doubt if it will.
Judging from reports in both broadcast and print detailing the chronology of events on that fateful day in Mamasapano, it appears the 44 SAF commandos trapped in the cornfield were abandoned and left to die while concentration was on extricating the assault force with Mawan’s finger. What other conclusion can one derive when you hear reports that more than 300 other SAF members were just there in the highway waiting for instructions that never came. Where is the operational plan detailing troop disposition? Where were the lapses?
Pathetic it is to hear from dismissed PNP-SAF Director General Napeñas that he informed PNP OIC Espina via text of the ongoing operation aimed at a high-value targets. Is he serious? Does he really think our telcos can be relied on especially for a highly-sensitive and delicate operation such as this? Mind –boggling!
Oplan Wolverine was doomed to fail from the beginning. First off, while our SAF commandos who were sent there were the best, they did not know the terrain. The commandos are trained for urban warfare, not jungle warfare. That is why coordination with the AFP is very important. But coordination within the PNP seems problematic too from the start. It appears that compartmentalization of DILG Sec. Mar Roxas and PNP OIC Espina was a result not of reasons of information security. If Purisima is to be believed, he says his “advice” was based on the plan which stated time on target (TOT). TOT is a term which means nothing else but the time at which aircraft is scheduled to attack. It is the military co-ordination of artillery fire by many weapons so that all the munitions arrive at the target at precisely the same time. The military standard is plus or minus three seconds from the prescribed time of impact. In terms of place, the historical standard was for the impact to occur within one circular error probable (CEP) of the designated target. CEP is the area on and around the target where most of the rounds will impact and therefore cause the maximum damage. The CEP depends on the caliber of the weapon, with larger caliber munitions having greater CEPs or greater damage on the target area. With the advent of “smart” munitions and more accurate firing technology, CEP is now less of a factor in the target area. (wiki)
The theory of TOT was first developed by the US Army shortly before World War II to help improve the effectiveness of artillery firepower, but the levels of communication and co-ordination required to achieve it were not reliably established until after WWII. It had been found during World War I that most of the casualties in an artillery bombardment occur within the first few seconds. During those first few seconds, troops may be in the open and may not be prone. After that, enemy troops have gone prone and/or sought cover. This dramatically lessens the casualties from shrapnel or high explosive blast. World War II Allied artillery units were often trained to fire their guns in a precise order, so that all shells would hit a target at the same time, delivering the maximum possible damage. Unfortunately, we did not see this happen in Mamasapano precisely because of the lack of coordination between the AFP and PNP.
I have two brothers who were in the service and my father, makes three in my immediate family. And they all echoed the same. Air support should have been sent first to clear the area. Only then do you send the infantry in. Their Oplan Exodus should have been a different route from how they entered. They should have moved to higher ground. That would have prevented them from being trapped in the cornfield. Instead, our SAF commandos were turkey shoot.
Investigation is now ongoing in both chambers of Congress to ferret out the truth. Sad that Grieving Widow feels nothing will come out of it. So sad!
God is Great!