MANILA — Since 2010, The Philippine National Police (PNP) has created 10 operation plans against al-Qaeda linked terrorist and bomb-making expert Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, according to PNP Board of Inquiry head Director Benjamin Magalong.
Magalong outlined the 10 operations in a report during the Senate’s inquiry to the death of 44 members of the PNP’s Special Action Force (SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25.
The operations included Oplan Pitas in December 2010, Oplan Smartbomb in July 2012, Oplan Wolverine in December 2012, Oplan Cyclops in April 2013, Oplan Cyclops 2 in June 2013, Oplan Wolverine 2 in March 2014, Oplan Wolverine 3 in May 2014, Oplan Terminator in November 2014, Oplan Terminator 2 in December 2014 and the last one, Oplan Exodus on Jan. 25.
The said terrorist had been hiding for the past years and was first spotted in Sulu, Basilan, Lanao Sur.
He was recently seen in Mamasapano where the final operation to retrieve him was conducted. He was reached by 13 members of the SAF assault team.
Under the Oplan Exodus a total of 12 SAF companies as well as the assault team, blocking forces, recon teams and the command group were required to launch the operation, according to Magalong.
The most recent operation however, led to the death of 44 SAF members after a bloody encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.