Alan S. Cayetano (ASC): Before I use my time, I didn’t want to interrupt Chairperson Grace Poe and the Senate President a while ago, but I was the one who brought up the MILF presence. So may I make this very short manifestation?
|SHALLOW. AFP Chief of Staff Pio Catapang, 8th Infantray Division Major Gen. Edmundo Pangilinan, and Brig. Gen. Galvez have been rebuffed by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on their shallow answers on their response on the MILF|
killing in gusto the members of the police commandos Special Action Force trapped in a village in
Mamapasano, Maguindanao on the 2nd Day of Hearing by the
Senate . PHOTO CREDIT: RAPPLER
I believe in the biblical principle that whatever we sow, we will reap, kung ano ang ating itatanim, yan ang ating aanihin. Assalamu Alaikum, sa ating mga kapatid na Muslim. I was told by my friends na mga Muslim na they share the same principle. If we plant respect, justice, trust, baka makakuha tayo ng peace. So we are here today because ang gusto nating anihin ay peace.
But with the letter that we received Mr. President, I want to point out two things: Number one, the Chairman of the MILF negotiating panel keeps saying, until fully completed, ‘yung peace agreement. So may I ask secretary Deles to communicate with them and ask, does that mean hanggang hindi natin sila binibigyan - kasi sa BBL, bibigyan sila ng isang Supreme Court Justice, dalawang CA Justices, sa bawat high-level Cabinet Commission my high-level policymaking technical; sa COMELEC, sa COA, bukod sa meron silang sarili, meron daw silang isang member; and then they will get a 75-25 percent sharing sa BBL plus another 25 percent for ten years sa kanila – so until that is fully completed, they will not appear or cooperate with Congress or they will continue to be a revolutionary force? Kasi hindi ‘yan ang understanding namin.
Secondly ma’am, and this is for all of us, I take offense of them not being here kasi tactical move sa kanila ito. Pinababayaan nila na ‘yung military, pulis at pulitiko natin ay magturuan, at itong imbestigasyon para magmukhang kaya namatay ang 44 dahil sa atin, dahil sa militar, sa pulis, o sa atin. Of course, that was contributory, ‘yung mga pinag-uusapan natin ngayon, pero kung hindi nila kinupkop si Marwan, at kung hindi sila lumaban sa 44, hindi patay ang 44 na ‘yun. So that is why, I cannot accept na tuloy-tuloy itong hearing na ito, tapos sila they will take their time and will attend later. Kaya hindi sila napag-uusapan dito dahil wala sila dito.
|Cayetano and Peace Adviser Sec. Teresita Deles cross swords in the Senate. PHOTO CREDIT: RAPPLER|
Lastly Ms. Chair, and again to secretary Deles, with your indulgence ma’am, the MILF is now going into areas outside the ARMM. They are going into areas even not included sa ARMM ngayon, for their so-called promotion and consultation sa BBL. Pero kapag sila walang consultation, death penalty, babarilin at papatayin nila ang katulad ng SAF. Pero sila po hindi nakikipag-coordinate sa mga mayors at barangay captains. I can confirm that they are doing this in Zamboanga, and I heard that they are doing it in other area. Check GenSan, check Davao, etcetera. In places na close sila sa mayor, they may be coordinating. Can we please look into this and also have a coordinating mechanism, kasi kung may mangyari diyan, nagkainitan, nagkabatuhan, dahil tempers are high there, ang sisisihin nanaman ang gobyerno, sasabihin anti-Muslim. We’re not anti-Muslim here. Ang MILF does not represent all of our Muslim brothers and sisters. So that is my manifestation and I will now go to my questions.
I join the Senate President and Senator Recto. We said kanina na bilib kami and we salute the police and the armed forces, but what we are questioning here are some of the judgment calls of some of the commanders. But may I ask secretary Deles or Dr. Ferrer. Dr. Ferrer, I thank you for your statements that I very respect since this started, but we are in opposite sides of some philosophies or view. But at the beginning of the hearing, you said that na-break kasi ‘yung ceasefire. So may I have a categorical answer, if I may, at this point in time, who broke the ceasefire?
Chief government negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer: That’s the matter for the investigation to verify but as now, who made the first shot, we cannot really say.
ASC: No. But you categorically made a statement that the ceasefire was broken.
F: That was the effect sir.
ASC: Well, if they went in for law enforcement operation, that is not the breaking of the ceasefire. If the MILF shot back, then they broke the ceasefire. It is clear from the facts, from all the reports, that the house of Marwan was not in the MILF camp, it was five hundred meters away. So the law enforcers going in, is not a violation of the ceasefire.
F: That is true sir that is a very legitimate law enforcement operation. I think from the reconstruction of the events either by the AFP or the PNP… the engagement of the government SAF and the MILF is in another village, in another barangay, which was not the site of the actual raid that was conducted…
ASC: Okay. So I will take it ma’am that what you meant is that the effect is that parang may break ngayon so you’re trying to repair or trying to see kung someone broke the ceasefire, or if you will decide na wala. But anyway ma’am, is it true that one of the commanders who engaged was commander Tondok?
F: In fact it was Commander Wahid Tondok together with commander Ustad Sakariya Goma, who assisted the ceasefire committee to enter the area and break the fighting.
ASC: May I ask the AFP and PNP, do you have the same information? In the news reports and early reports ang sabi nila ‘yung commander Tondok. General Napenas?
General Carlito Galvez: Chairman, your honors, I’m the chairman of CCCH and based on our facts and our dealings with the joint ceasefire crisis team that we have organized, Wahid Tondok and Sakariya Goma, was met by the INP and our team at exactly 11:45 at the house of Sakariya Goma and Coloy.
Sen. Escudero: The question was kung sila po ba’y nakabakbakan o hindi, you’re answer is no?
General Galvez: No sir.
Send. Escudero: So sino po?
ASC: Sir, your answer is no kasi you met them at eleven o’clock?
General Galvez: Yes, they were met by the joint ceasefire…
ASC: Yes, but the fighting started at five o’clock, he could’ve been in the fighting or ordered these men and then met you at eleven o’clock. So the real answer is you do not know.
ASC: To your information, in this point in time hindi? But you cannot be sure that he was part of the forces at five o’clock, because it was his men who met them. Hindi po ba, it was his command?
Galvez: Wahid Tondok is the base commander of 118, the unit that was engaged by the 55th SAF was 105.
Escudero: Sino po ‘yung head ng 105th?
Galvez: Sakariya Goma po.
ASC: How about those who engaged the other SAF members?
Galvez: The other SAF members, the 84th, we believe that they were engaged by the BIFF.
ASC: So none of the men of commander Tondok engaged?
Galvez: I believe on the list that has been given to us, officially by the MILF, all of the casualties, the eighteen dead and fourteen wounded belongs from 105th.
ASC: That’s from the MILF, but not from the military or police side.
Galvez: Yes sir.
ASC: May I ask the military and the police and the PNP, do you have any information, if commander Tondok or any of his men engaged?
Escudero: General Pangilinan sir?
Gen. Pangilinan: On the part of 6th infantry division, we did not receive any information that Tondok was with the encounter.
Escudero: Pero sa impormasyon ninyo sinong na encounter?
Pangilinan: Pero on the information that we gathered came from the 105th base command of the MILF.
Escudero: Headed by?
Pangilinan: Based on their hierarchy, it is Sakariya Goma.
ASC: So you mean ganun karami ang tao ni commander Goma na napaligiran niya ‘yung buong three hundred na SAF, plus ‘yung reinforcement at ‘yung ibang lugar? So siya at ‘yung BIFF lang kasi sa presentation na binigay niyo, wala kayong pinakita na lumampas ng dalawang daan ‘yung tao. Panay one hundred plus, one hundred plus, so kung ‘yung BIFF at ‘yung 105th nagsama, two hundred lang ‘yun. Pero sabi niyo napakalaking heavy fire at naka ano na sila…
Pangilinan: Your honor, hindi po sa amin nanggaling na ganun kalakas ‘yung nakalaban ng PNP-SAF, because they were the ones who engaged.
ASC: Sabi niyo ni-reinforce niyo sabi ni General Catapang. Ni-reinforce niyo at sinasabi bakit niyo hindi pinasok? Sabi niyo sa kapal na ng putukan, even with the armored person carrier, hindi na mapasok.
Pangilinan: Yes your honor.
ASC: That doesn’t jive with what we’re saying that it’s only two hundred men, and then there were different SAF positions. So are we now protecting the MILF by saying that it’s only the 105th?
Pangilinan: No your honor, wala naman po sigurong conflict dun, sa lakas ng putukan. If you will try to imagine ‘yung sabay-sabay na putok ng two hundred, if it’s two hundred, napakalakas na putukan yan.
ASC: Sir, two hundred sa three different locations, tapos kayo four hundred kayo sa isang location lang. ‘yung three hundred nila na natira na SAF at tiyaka ‘yung isa pang grupo.
Pangilinan: Your honor, wala pang four hundred na…
ASC: ‘yung three hundred na SAF na naiwan?
Pangilinan: Sa SAF po ‘yun…
ASC: Yes, pero sinabi ni General Catapang kahapon na ni-reinforce nila, and then they tried to go in kaya lang nga masyadong malakas ‘yung putukan. So you mean kapag sabay pumutok ‘yung three hundred plus versus kung ano man ‘yung two hundred minus ‘yung nandun sa kabila, hindi mas malakas ‘yung putok ninyo?
Pangilinan: Ang pumasok po, na nauna doon sa area ay ang amin pong section only.
ASC: Anyway sir, I understand, baka we’re talking about other things, but I will go back to why commander Tondok is very important. But let me go straight sir because of the limited time, kay COS, Chief of Staff Catapang. Sir, I’m sorry I have to ask these hard questions, as I said I’m a fan of the AFP, but yesterday masyado akong natamaan doon sa statements ninyo so I have to ask you this direct question. Did the AFP, through your command, sacrifice the 44 in order to save the peace process?
AFP COS Gen. Gregorio Catapang: No, your honor.
ASC: Categorically no. Okay then, please explain to me why in your interviews, and your answer to Senator Estrada, you said, the order is only to extricate, but do not engage the MILF, because we do not want to endanger the peace process.
Catapang: Yes, your honor that was my statement.
ASC: So you sacrificed the forty four.
Catapang: No your honor, because by that time the sixth section of hostilities were already inside the area.
ASC: Yes, but in that time the MILF was still shooting at the 44, buhay pa ‘yung marami dun at that time.
Catapang: Yes your honor but…
ASC: So at that time na sinabi ‘yun, you had two missions, contrary ‘yung dalawa. Save the peace process, or save the 44. Ang sinabi niyo makipagsuntukan kayo pero itali niyo mga kamay niyo sa likod niyo. Because you told them not to engage the MILF, how can they get out, the 44, if they can not engage the MILF?
How can you extricate without engaging them? Pinuputukan sila, nakabagsak na sila.
Catapang: Yes your honor, there was a firefight among our soldiers and the MILF.
ASC: No, you command was not to engage them.
Catapang: But we are fired upon, we have to fire back.
ASC: Then why didn’t you give the order na makipag-bakbakan kayo, why did you have to say do not engage them?
Catapang: It was the ground commander sir…
ASC: I’m talking to the officers who made that, you gave the same answer when we talked about the air. You said kaya hindi niyo pinalipad ‘yung mga helicopters kasi baka isipin ng MILF na lumulusob kayo, so what? Your men are there and they’re dying and you’re thinking kung anong iisipin ng MILF?
Catapang: No your honor, we were there to fight it out with MILF.
ASC: That wasn’t what you said in your interviews, and it wasn’t what you said here yesterday. Ano po ‘yung mapa na pinakita niyo kahapon? Hindi ba aerial? Hindi ba ang SAF aerial din ang pinakita? Bakit po hindi ground ‘yung pinakita niyong mapa?
Catapang: We have a ground map.
ASC: Yes, but why didn’t you show us the ground? Hindi ba, because sa ground hindi mo makikita basta-basta, sa haba, sa ilang kilometro, but when you’re in the air, kita mo. How many helicopters do we have now, in the AFP?
Catapang: We do not have fighter planes your honor.
ASC: Fighter helicopters?
Catapang: We only have utility helicopters sir.
ASC: ‘yung inamin niyo na na dalawa, nandun sa Zamboanga kasama ni Presidente.
Cataapng: I did not mention about that.
ASC: The AFP admitted that, nakita ko pa ang litrato. I do not know the name, wala kayong helicopters na combat helicopters?
Catapang: We have combat helicopters sir.
ASC: ‘yun naman ibig sabihin, let’s not get stuck with the terms. How many combat helicopters do you have?
Catapang: This time we have two MG.
ASC: No, how many do we have here in the Philippines?
Catapang: I’m not sure your honor, but maybe about six to eight.
ASC: Six to eight, how many were in Mindanao?
Catapang: I think there’s about four in Mindanao.
ASC: Isn’t it true sir na kapag pinalipad mo, makikita mo agad kung saan ‘yung labanan? Even without engaging you just go higher, hindi ba totoo makikita niyo?
Catapang: Yes, your honor.