MANILA, Philippines —Special Action Force (SAF) commander Police Director Getulio Napeñas – who has been relived from his post – was the one who gave the green light to the SAF to conduct the attack which led to the slaughter of 44 commandos. This was confirmed on Thursday by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.
Gazmin said that he could not confirm if President Aquino was in the know from the start, with regard to the SAF mission.
“I am not privy to that but as commander-in-chief, he is informed about them especially those on high-value targets. Now, as to go or no go, that’s the call of the ground commander,” Gazmin said.
“I think the ground commander is Police Gen. Napeñas,” he noted.
The Aquino administration has created a board of inquiry to investigate the bloody encounter between members of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police Special Action Forces (PNP-SAF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on January 25, in Tukanalipao village, Mamasapano town, in the province of Maguindanao.
According to military sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division has launched its own probe into the matter.
The MILF has likewise formed its own panel to look into the circumstances of the 11-hour-gun battle.