MANILA — Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Monday cleared the United States of any involvement in the counterterrorism efforts of the Philippine National Police that killed 44 elite police commandos during the Mamasapano encounter.
The statement was made despite reports that a drone was spotted over Mamasapano during the clash on Jan. 25.
Citing the process of the Philippine-US Security Engagement Board (SEB), Foreign Undersecretary Evan Garcia said in a Senate hearing that all counterterrorism efforts in the country passes through the board.
Any effort will not be consented without the approval of the said board.
Del Rosario told the media that he already checked reports that involved the US in the SAF operation.
According to reports, the SAF commandos were trained by the US. They were also reported to have provided surveillance and financial assistance for the operation.
Del Rosario, however rejected the said claims and reiterated that the training of the SAF commandos and the execution was 100-percent Filipino.
“The bottom line is the planning of the operation is 100-percent Filipino, the execution is also 100-percent Filipino. So no US participation,” Del Rosario said.