SAF used dead comrades as shields – MILF report

SAF used dead comrades as shields – MILF report
The MILF says the first casualties were from its side, as it reiterates that members of the police Special Action Force fired the first shots in Mamasapano

MANILA, Philippines – Police commandos – particularly, members of the 55th Special Action Company (SAC) – used the bodies of their dead comrades as shield at the height of the firefight in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, against members of rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). 

This was revealed in the MILF’s report on the Mamasapano clash which was released Tuesday, March 24. 

“The MILF men saw that some of the 55 SAC men’s bodies were found underneath one another as if purposely piled. They noticed that the dead bodies sustained multiple gunshot wounds. They realized later from the position of the dead bodies and the number of wounds of some of the 55 SAC that some of them had used the bodies of their dead comrades as shied during the intense fighting,” said the report.

The 55th SAC of the police Special Action Force (SAF) served as the blocking force of the 84th SAC, which was tasked to serve the warrants of arrest to wanted terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir (Marwan) and Abdul Basit Usman. Marwan was killed but Usman was able to get away. 

MILF submitted the report to the International Monitoring Team, with copies provided to the government and the Senate, among others.

The MILF reiterated its side that it was the the SAF who fired the first shot in Mamasapano.

Armed members of the MILF were about to cross the bridge from Barangay Tukanalipao to Sitio Amalil when they were fired upon. Two members of the MILF’s 105th Base Command were killed at that instance.

Fighting ensued as the MILF men retreated to the other side of the river, with more members of the 105th BC joining them afterwards. 

There were more or less 100 MILF men that joined the clash and “there was no organized central command that was in charge,” the report said. 

The report also stated that some members of the 118th Base Command led by Commander Wahid Tundok joined the clashes.  

As earlier reported in the media, the combatants thought that they were engaging members of the Philippine Army, whom they had considered as enemy forces since they fired the first shots. 

Fighting was done at close-range – at one point, hostilities were exchanged with the forces just 3-4 meters away from each other, the report said. 

“While the BIAF could not clearly see whom they were fighting against, they concluded these were not friendly forces as they had initiated the first shots – shots that were fatal to two of their men,” the report said. 

Police laboratory examinations found at least 3 of the slain SAF members sustained gunshot wounds” on their torsos, which should have been covered with bulletproof vests, while another 6 SAF troopers died through a single gunshot to the head. Several others were shot at close-range while the rest died due to sniper fire. 

The MILF has maintained that the government’s failure to coordinate the police operation against Marwan and Usman led to the clash that killed at least 66 individuals, including 44 elite cops and 5 civilians. 

The report said 17 MILF combatants died during the clash. The rebel group earlier said 18 had died.

Read here the full text of the MILF report on the Mamasapano incident. – Rappler.com 

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.