Sunday, February 15, 2015

Philippine Congress urged to summon US Ambassador Goldberg to shed light on anti-terror ops

From the Mindanao Examiner BlogSpot site (Feb 15): Philippine Congress urged to summon US Ambassador Goldberg to shed light on anti-terror ops

A Filipino group has urged lawmakers to probe the alleged involvement of US military forces in the bungled anti-terror operation that left 44 police commandos and 18 former rebels dead in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao.

The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino now wants Congress to summon US Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg, so he can shed light on allegations that its security forces or military contractors were involved in the January 25 botched operation.

Members of the elite Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police raided the hideout of Malaysian bomber Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, deep inside the territory of Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Tukanalipao village in Mamasapano town and killed him.

Marwan’s finger was also cut off by commandos for DNA analysis and submitted by SAF to two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in General Santos City.

But MILF members, aided by Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, surrounded the SAF commandos on their way out, trapping them by the river, and killed 44 of them, many shot in the head at close range, in daylong clashes. Seven civilians were also reported killed by commandos, but authorities were silent about this and could not be independently confirmed.

“If the lawmakers are dead-serious to seek the truth behind the Mamasapano tragedy no matter the political cost, they should start taking notice of the immense white elephant in the Session Hall. They should once and for all invite Ambassador Goldberg and demand from him nothing less of the truth,” Gie Relova,  of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, said.

The US Embassy has repeatedly denied involvement in the SAF operation, but confirmed that Americans helped evacuate wounded commandos on the request of the police.

The US is maintaining several small bases and a fleet of drones in southern Philippines manned by about 500 personnel under Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines based in Zamboanga City since 2001. US troops are training Filipino soldiers and policemen in fighting terrorism.

“The admission of (SAF) Commander (Getulio) NapeƱas that he sought US assistance in the evacuation of the wounded troops is but the tip of the iceberg. There are still far more controversial and unsettled concerns like the use of US choppers instead of ours, the issue of drones hovering at the height of the gunfight, the index finger of Marwan directly flown out of the country, the coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the source of the actionable intelligence which President Aquino mentioned in his national address, all missed if not suppressed in the earlier hearings,” Relova said.

“Nagging questions will continue to crop up and the people perpetually agitated by the tragedy not unless the Ambassador Goldberg steps up to the plate and do what honorable men do - speak the truth. Goldberg answers must not only convince the members of the committee led by Senator Grace Poe but must also satisfy the Filipino nation.”

1 comment:

  1. In the early 1990s an ideological split took place within the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). As a result of the ideological wrangling, Filemon Lagman, who then headed up the Manila Rizal Committee of the CPP and its associated Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU-May One Movement) labor federation, broke away from the Party and took most of the MR committee and around 70% of the KMU with him.

    In 1993 Lagman formed the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Solidarity of Filipino Workers) , a socialist labor center and SANLAKAS, a multisectoral political front which later became a party-list political party. Both of these groups appear to have abandoned Mao Tse Dong thought and the strategic line of peasant based guerrilla war but remained Maxist-Leninist-Socialist in their political orientation.

    Since their formation, both of these groups have an established track record of engaging in anti-US/US military propaganda campaigns and have consistently opposed the US military presence in the Philippines.

    [Note: Filemon Lagman was assassinated in early 2001 and while his murder remains unsolved, many believe that his assassination was the result of his fallout with the CPP and was carried out by a New People's Army (NPA) hit team. The NPA is the military wing of the CPP.]


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.