Army did all it can to support hard-pressed SAF men — AFP

By , on February 2, 2015


President Benigno S. Aquino III, accompanied by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., reviews the honor guard prior to his departure from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal II on Tuesday (June 24, 2014) to attend the Summit Meeting & Working Lunch with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo and the Consolidation for Peace for Mindanao Conference in Hiroshima organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Research and Education for Peace of the Universiti Sains Malaysia. (Photo by Rolando Mailo/Malacañang Photo Bureau/PNA)
President Benigno S. Aquino III, accompanied by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. (Photo by Rolando Mailo/Malacañang Photo Bureau/PNA)

MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday convened a fact-finding committee which determined that the Army did all it can to help the hard- pressed Special Action Force (SAF) troopers during their fiery battle with members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao on Jan. 25.

AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said the comittee was able to establish that the Army had readily provided support by organizing a quick reaction force composed of troops from different infantry units including armor assets of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade which were deployed for the extraction of wounded SAF personnel.

Unknown to the public, the 6th Infantry Division began providing support an hour after being informed until the early morning of Jan. 26 when elements of the SAF trapped inside Mamasapano were located and safely bought out of Barangay Tukanalipao.

“The Army was not remiss in its duties to assist and reinforce the beleaguered SAF elements in Mamasapano and did all that was possible under the circumstances when they received the request of help after the frat,” AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc said.

He added that the AFP categorically states that everything that could be done was done under the circumstance with due consideration to avoid fratricide and collateral damage.

“The AFP, following its fact-finding mission, will readily turnover all its findings to the Board of inquiry once requested,” Cabunoc stressed.

He also appealed to the public to be circumspect on the matter and allow the board of inquiry to finish its assigned task and await the final report of the board.