MANILA — With members of the Special Action Force and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) now disengaging after a fierce battle in Mamasapano, Maguindanao Sunday, Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo A. Espina has ordered all police commanders in the area to do everything they can to contain the situation.
“I have instructed police commanders in the area to make available all support systems to contain the situation and mitigate the effects on civilian communities in the area,” he said.
Reports claimed that the fighting between the MILF and PNP-SAF has resulted in 27 to 30 casualties, with wounding of many others.
Espina said operational information from the field are still sketchy at the moment.
“But what we know so far is that there is an ongoing operation in the area against a high-value target believed to be behind the recent spate of bombings in Central Mindanao,” he stressed.
Espina said that priority concern at the moment is the medical evacuation and treatment of the wounded and extraction of the casualties from the battle zone.
“As I speak, an operational assessment is being undertaken in coordination with the military to determine possible courses of action,” he disclosed.
“I extend my deepest sympathy to the orphaned families of our fallen policemen. They died a meaningful death on the side of justice and righteousness. They did not die in vain,” Espina stressed, adding that justice and peace will prevail.