MANILA, Philippines – On Monday, February 9, the Senate committee on public order conducted the first hearing in its investigation into the anti-terrorist operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, that ended in the death of 44 police commandos, 17 Muslim rebels, and at least 7 civilians.
The hearing revealed how the chain of command was broken as it was suspended Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Alan Purisima who was in the briefings with President Benigno Aquino III and the then Special Action Force commander Getulio Napeñas on the mission.
PNP Officer-in-Charge Leonardo Espina, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Gregorio Catapang Jr were kept out of the loop.
It also exposed the professional rivalry between PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, after questions were raised over the military's alleged failure to immediately come to the rescue of SAF troopers, whose commander didn't coordinate the operations with the military and the local police.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, whose members are suspected of killing the SAF troopers, did not send its officials to the hearing.
Below is the transcript of the February 9 hearing.
Below are stories from the February 9 Senate hearing on the Mamasapano clash: