Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon on Friday said the Filipino youth joins the nation in mourning the untimely death of 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) officers in a gruesome encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
“Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go to the families and friends of the victims of the tragedy,” Ridon said.
“As more details come in, it is becoming clearer that the tragedy can be traced to the botched planning for the operation. It is not clear if the PNP top brass and the commander-in-chief, President Benigno Aquino 3rd, will ever admit responsibility for the bungled operation,” he added.
The militant youth lawmaker said that the involvement of the US government in what he calls “Operation Wolverine” should be probed deeper since there is evidence that US forces played a role in the plan.
“This tragedy is not only the result of a ‘mis-encounter’ or a few lost commandos on the ground. There have been reports that US forces were the ones that pushed and insisted on this dangerous operation, in effect using Philippine forces as pawns in yet another of Washington’s proxy wars,” Ridon said.
Reports have shown that the plan to capture Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan has been in place as early as 2010. In one report, it was revealed that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and ranking police officials hatched the actual operation in September 2014, following receipt of information on Marwan’s whereabouts, he said
Reports further show that US forces used drones and GPS to locate the suspected terrorists, according to Ridon.
“If these reports are to be believed, then US forces have indeed played a large role in the planning and execution of Operation Wolverine. However, neither the Palace nor the PNP top brass have spoken to clarify this matter. Everyone in government is mum about Washington’s involvement in the botched operation. What is the cause of their silence?” Ridon asked.
“Certainly, there is more to this issue than meets the eye. The involvement of US forces should also be probed deeper,” he added.