Monthly Archives: March 2015

3rd PH (117th ) INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS/HISTORIC FILIPINOTOWN PARADE ON JUNE 6, 2015 COMMITTEE ORGANIZED

EPCC NEWS
March 23, 2015

3rd PH (117th ) INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS/HISTORIC FILIPINOTOWN PARADE ON JUNE 6, 2015 COMMITTEE ORGANIZED

Los Angeles– The 3rd PH Independence Day Celebrations Organizing Committee that will be organized and prepare the celebrations of the 117th PH Independence Day Celebrations held their first meeting last March 19, 2015 at KAPISTAHAN GRILL.

The 3rd HFT Celebrations Committee is comprised of the Ms. FILAM International who is responsible for the LAKAMBINI NG KALAYAAN Contest, the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) the newly formed national organization, Pilipino American Kultural Society in Action (PAKSA), the Pilipino Institute For Language Arts and Culture (PILAC) and the Philippine Consulate General of Los Angeles as the initial organizing committee member organizations.

It was named celebrations because it will not be only responsible for the parade in the Historic Filipinotown on Saturday, June 6, 2015 on the 3rd time but because it will be more comprehensive and will cover the whole gamut of the celebrations of the 117t7h Philippine Independence Day, June 12, 2015

Activities Set for June 5 and 6, 2015

This time the 117th Philippine Independence Day Celebrations has grown bigger and better and will have four major features:

1) The LAKAMBINI NG KALAYAAN 2015 Contest that will be held on June 5 at the Castaway Restaurant in Burbank. The winner of the said contest will be the LAKAMBINI NG KALAYAAN Muse for the 3rdHistoric Filipinotown Parade on the next morning, Saturday, June 06, 2105.

2) The 3rd HISTORIC FILIPINOTOWN PH INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE to be held on Saturday, June 06, 2015 from 9;00 AM to 0 11;30 AM The parade will go around the Historic Filipinotown Temple and Beverly Corridor.

3)The HISTORIC FILIPINOTOWN INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION AND FAIR to be held after the parade on the grounds of the Silver Lake Medical Center (SLMC) on June 6 from 12;00 to 4;00PM. It will feature the public coronation of the LAKAMBINI NG KALAYAAN Beauties, a free public variety shows and fair for private and non-profit organizations.

4) The 20th Anniversary of the Filipino-American Mural in Unidad Park at Beverly St. There will be a Youth Festival sponsored by the Los Angeles Land Trust (LANT) and the District 13 Office of Councilman Mithc O’ Farrell.

The Filipino-American Mural is the largest mural of the Filipino American community in the United States. It was called “ Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana.’

For more information please call Al Garcia at(213)241-0995 or (323)253-1818 or email us Pilipinokami76@yahoo.com or visit our website at www.newfacla.org

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PABASA AT FACLA ON APRIL 2 and 3 FOR THE HOLY WEEK 2015

EPCC NEWS
March 23, 2015

PABASA AT FACLA ON APRIL 2 and 3 FOR THE HOLY WEEK 2015

Los Angeles- The Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) and the Pilipino American Kuttural Society in Action (PAKSA) will hold a two-day PABASA or Choral Reading of the PASYONG MAHAL NG PANGINOON HESUKRISTO, a tradition during the Holy Week in the Philippines

The PABASA will be held on Holy Thursday, April 2 and Holy Friday, April 3, 2015 in the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) Social Hall.

The PABASA will begin on Maudy Thursday, April 2, 2015 at 12:00 Noon and ends at 3:00 PM on Holy Friday, April 3, 2015.

MARATHON READING BY SINGING

It will be a marathon 36 hours of singing the PASYON in the tradition of the PABASA or Holy reading singing in Tagalog. It was introduced in the Philippines during the Spanish times in a way to introduce Catholicism to Filipinos by the Catholic Church.

Since then it has been a tradition during the celebrations of the Holy Week in the Philippines until today. FACLA started the event last year with the PABASA during the Holy Week of 2014. More than 40 people joined the PABASA for the two days.

We call on everybody to join the event, bring food and drinks especially the Filipino_American youth to join and try this Filipino tradition by joining the Holy Week PABASA in FACLA.

Those who are interested to join the PABASA can come during the two days of the PABASA and enlist by calling the FACLA office (213)484-1527 or Al of PAKSA at (323) 253-1818.

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PABASA SA FACLA, APRIl 2 At 3 SA MAHAL NA ARAW

ANNOUNCEMENT

PABASA SA FACLA, APRIl 2 At 3 SA MAHAL NA ARAW

Los Angeles- Magkakaroon ng PABASA sa Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) at ang Pilipino American Kuttural Society in Action (PAKSA) . Ang PABASA ng PASYONG MAHAL NG PANGINOON HESUKRISTO, ay isang tradisyon sa Mahal na Araw sa Pilipinas.

Ang PABASA ay gagawin sa Huwebes Santo. Abril 2 at SA Biiyerned Santo sa Abril 3, 2015 sa Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) Social Hall.

Ang The PABASA ay magsisimula sa Huwedes Santo sa Ika- 12 ng Tanghali ng Abril 2, 2015 at magtatapos ng ika-3:00 ng Hapon ng Biyernes Santo, Abril 3, 2015 PABASA in FACLA.

Those who are interested to join the PABASA can come during the two days of the PABASA and enlist by calling the FACLA office (213)484-1527 or Al of PAKSA at (323) 253-1818.

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STATEMENT OF CONCERN FOR JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE MAGUINDANAO MASSACRES OF 2009 AND 2015, JUSTICE NOW!

ALLIANCE NEWS
March 21, 2015

STATEMENT OF CONCERN FOR JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE MAGUINDANAO MASSACRES OF 2009 AND 2015, JUSTICE NOW!

In November 2009, 58 people including 34 media person were massacred in Ampatuan, Maguindanao to prevent Esmael Mangudadatu from filing his candidacy for the May 2010 Elections.

This was called the worst day for the world press because on single day, the free press lost 34 persons in that infamous massacre in 2009. For almost five years, there has been no justice for the massacre victims for the wheels of justice grinds exceedingly slow.

But the biggest slap to the faces of he Filipinos was when the court released one of the suspected killers, Sajid Amapatuan (one of the sons of the mastermind Governor Ampatuan) when he posted bail in millions one week ago. What kind of justice is this?

But again, seven years later, 67 people including 44 police commandos of the Special Action Force (SAF) of the PNP lost their lives in a mis-encounter ( and was called a massacre by the Senate Report) last January 25, 2015 also in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Today, we protest and rally in front of the Philippine Consulate in LA to add our voices from the United States to the grave concern of our Kababayans over the state of justice in the Philippines. As in the case of the Maguindanao Massacre, witnesses are continually killed, harassed or bribed by the accused.

We continually are witness to the issues being muddled by the court, by the lawyers and the rules of court being mired in a long and tedious process on the Maguindanao Massacre Trials.

The same is true with the Mamasapano Massacre of 2015 where people are being subjected to varying kinds of fact-finding reports , buck-passing and denials and counter-denials with no justice in sight.

We voice and stand with empathy to the families and friends of the SAF44 and also for our Moro brothers who were killed in the misencounter We are with you in your demand for justice and just and lasting peace for Mindanao.

We cannot condone this injustice in the name of the rule of law. W say enough is enough is enough.

TAMA NA, SOBRA NA, KATARUNGAN ANG SIGAW NAMIN NGAYON!

NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE! JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE MAGINDANAO MASSACRE OF 2009 and MAMASAPANO, 2015!

Signatories: Alliance Philippines, ANSWER-LA, Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV), BANTAY PILIPINAS –USA, TALAKAYAN sa FACLA, AWARE-LA.

March 20, 2015

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DISPLACED PEOPLE IN THE CENTRAL MINDANAO CONFLICT REACHED 123, 000

ALLIANCE NEWS
March 19, 2015

DISPLACED PEOPLE IN THE CENTRAL MINDANAO CONFLICT REACHED 123, 000

Los Angeles- The Alliance Philippines raised the alarm that the humanitarian proportions has escalated into a very serious crisis in the ongoing Mindanao conflict caused by AFP military operations.

The ALLIANCE NEWS reported from Davao City that the number of people displaced by armed conflict in Maguindanao province has reached more than 123,000 as government forces continue their combat operations, records from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) government showed.

According to the AFP, more than 117 BIFF fighters has been killed and at least 80 others were wounded in the fighting. On the side of the AFP, at least 6 soldiers including two officers were killed and more than 30 were wounded in the skirmishes.

According to the ARMM-Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (ARMM-Heart), the figure surpassed the 100,000 who left their communities in 2003 due to fighting between government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the provinces of Maguindanao and North Cotabato.

All-Out Offensive Continues

The latest all-out offensive declared by Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. on Feb. 25 is aimed at suppressing the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and arresting suspected Jemaah Islamiyah-linked bomber, Basit Usman.

The ARMM-Heart said operations against the BIFF, which broke away from the MILF, had forced at least 24,714 families to flee their homes in 15 towns in Maguindanao. The number accounts for about 10 percent of the province’s total population.

Close to 22,000 families are being hosted in 75 evacuation camps, while the rest are staying in the homes of relatives.

For more information please contact the Alliance at (2130241-0995 or email at Pilipinokami76@yahoo.com

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The chain does not bind

EPCC NEWS
March 18, 2015

The chain does not bind

By Teddy Locsin, Jr.
Posted at 03/17/2015 6:45 PM

When the report of PNP Board of Inquiry says that the President violated the chain of command, it only means he chose not to follow it—and that is not a crime.

The chain of command is a convenience; it is not a constraint on presidential command. If it did legally then that would be the end of civilian supremacy over the military. Ideally, presidential commands come down the chain of commanders, enriched at every link by their experience or impoverished by their ignorance and subverted by inter-branch rivalry.

The chain does not go up to shackle the president; it only goes down. Every officer and soldier owes him direct obedience without having to pass his loyalty up through the chain of command.

We regularly ignored the chain of command fighting coups for Cory. The President can skip links and entrust to one instead of another a special military job that he wants done.

A general is not obligated to bring in every officer and his uncle and listen to their advice.

The suspension of Purisima for graft did not erase his unique understanding of the mission he planned. He could still advise, and subordinates could listen, when he couldn’t strictly speaking command.

The exclusion of an Army that cannot keep secrets and would not fight proved Purisma right. Catapang confessed that a vigorous rescue of the SAF in Mamasapano would trigger fighting all over Mindanao. To save the peace talks, Pangilinan would not fire even a phosphorous round—even if phosphorous scattered the MILF in previous engagements and stopped the fighting. The Philippine Military Academy valedictorian just said, “War is not the answer” even if “theirs is not to reason why, theirs is but to do and die,” quote Tennyson poetic summation of the soldier’s life and death. An Army that declares fighting to be its last priority has no deterrent, offensive or defensive value.

It was not wrong for the President to keep Purisima in the loop. A suspicion of graft does not erase the experience of command. He planned the operation. The next time the Ombudsman orders any serving officer suspended on a charge of graft it might want to limit the suspension to his authority to sign off on purchases but not over military operations.

Purisima and Napeñas were not wrong to delay telling an Army that is a chatterbox about the operation; at least not until it was well underway. The US armed forces did not know that one US President had sent a hostage rescue mission to Iran (it failed) and another sent an assassination squad into Pakistan (a roaring success that perhaps Noynoy had in mind). Under the AFP, Oplan Sagittarius was leaked to Ninoy and Oplan Double Strike was leaked to me, not that we could do anything to stop martial law. But a leak of Oplan Exodus threatened the safety of the SAF as in fact it took all of their lives but one.

When the call for it was made in the early hours, artillery fire risked collateral damage to the SAF but, going by previous encounters, it would have ended the fight. The alternative taken was to let all our men die.

Judged by the Manual of Operations, Napeñas’s expertise turned out to be less than the mission required but it was enough to carry it out. There is nothing to show that the Army would have done better after refusing to take part in past missions of the kind. Napeñas could have planned it by the book. But if he had reasons not to—i.e., telling a leaky Army of the plan well ahead of time and alerting a peace panel partial to the enemy of a mission to snatch the terrorists hiding in its camp—the only alternative was to cancel the mission forever and keep the friends of Deles and Ferrer happy harboring a trinity of monsters making bombs to kill thousands of civilians in Metro Manila.

Napeñas could have picked better terrain—one with high ground to which the SAF could have repaired and held it until the help there was no intention of sending had come. But Marwan, Usman and a third turbaned fellow would not be there. The Cordilleras has high and easy places to defend but if he attacked there all he could gather was marijuana.

Napeñas sidestepped 2 back-up plans. The 1st required telling the Army to coordinate in the sort of mission they disliked. Indeed, after being told of the mission the Army opted to just let all the men die.

The 2nd required alerting a peace panel thick as thieves with the MILF—and lauded loudest by pro-Malaysian journalists in the Philippine media—of a mission to take out their terrorist darlings. But if the peace panel was told it would still have needed at least 6 hours to stop a massacre that was completed in half the time. Back-up plans like these amounted to canceling the mission—or losing all the targets and 380 SAF walking into a trap.

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JFAV SUPPORTS NEW BILL SPEEDS UP FAMILY REUNIFICATION FOR AGING PINOY WWII VETS

JFAV UPDATES
March 17, 2015

JFAV SUPPORTS NEW BILL SPEEDS UP FAMILY REUNIFICATION FOR AGING PINOY WWII VETS

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – Two Senate Democrats introduced a bill last Friday that would speed up the visa process for the children of Filipino World War II veterans.

Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada introduced the Filipino Veterans Reunification Act, which seeks to exempt about 20,000 children of Filipino World War II veterans from visa quotas.

With the current immigration backlog, it takes the vets 20 years to be reunited with their children.

The co-sponsors of the bill are Sen. Brian Schatz, the other Democrat from Hawaii, and Senators Lisa Murkowski of Arkansas and Barbara Boxer of California.

JFAV Supports New Bills

The Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) Supports the new bills. According ti Ago Pedalizo, San Francisco JFAV Coordinator;

” We will always support the bills for the remaining 70,000 Veterans for the benefits and rights they deserve.

It’s up for the lawmakers to pass the bills. AS Always, many lawmakers pass these bills but because both houses of Congress are in GOP hands, we are not as hopeful it will pass, but we will continue to fight.”

JFAV supports the Filipino Veterans Recognition ACt of 2011 and 2013 and is hopeful a new bill for Filipino Veterans Equity will be filed before April 9, Bataan Day in the US Congress.

For more information please call jfav at (213)241-0995 or email us at Pilipinokami76@yahoo.com

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JFAV STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY TO UC IRVINE ASUCI

JFAV UPDATES
March 15, 2015

JFAV STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY TO UC IRVINE ASUCI

To whom it may concern:

We, the Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV), a national organization of Filipino World War II veterans, widows, relatives and advocates based in the United States militantly stands in solidarity with the Kababayan at UC Irvine, are in solidarity with the 6 Legislative Council representatives of the Associated Students of the University of California, Irvine (ASUCI) that are being shamed and ostracized by the campus authorities on the University of California (UCI), Irvine campus.

We cannot tolerate Chancellor Gillman and the Administration’s failure to provide an atmosphere where students are allowed to respect one another and share their views freely. It’s an irony that we fought for freedom and had sacrificed our lives and the fortunes of our nation just to witness such brazen intolerance and brazen chauvinism against our youth and students.

We, in the JFAV expresses concerned with the safety of the legislative council members, which are UC Irvine students, as well as the safety of the UCI community.

We, in JFAV cannot permit this blatant disregard and disrespect to basic civil and human rights like what the Nazi’s used in Europe and what the Japanese Imperial fascist did to our country during their brutal three years occupation of the Philippines. We fought for the flag. Lost more than one million people and had our whole nation ravaged thus, we will defend the rights of the students and youth to determine what they like to do to that flag for it is the essence of democracy.

Some of us might not agree on their decision for the sentimental reason that we fought for that flag but we are united in the respect for their right for self-determination in their own space and time. That is the essence of democracy and what America stands for, not for the fascist or Nazi type– the intolerant, highly discriminative and bigoted way.

This use of intimidation tactics, as a means to intimidate the students [who are already receiving an overwhelming amount of livid commentary and harassment online] is unbelievable.

It reminds us of the 14 years of Marcos martial law and dictatorship that the US government supported. We are concerned that the lack of support from our Administration has caused a rift and divide among the student body.

We, the JFAV National Committee wholeheartedly support the UC demand that the UC System and the UCI Administration protects the legislative council members as well as every individual that attends this University. Please do not let our sacrifices for freedom and democracy come to naught and escalate racism and foment racial divide by this acts of discrimination and brazen bigotry

Arturo P. Garcia
National Coordinator
Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV)
Los Angeles

March 12, 2015

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE MAMASAPANO REPORT

ALLIANCE NEWS
March 13, 2015

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE MAMASAPANO REPORT

What follows is the text of the Executive Summary covering the report of the Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry into the Mamasapano incident.

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On January 25, 2015, sixty-seven (67) Filipinos died in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, as a result of an encounter triggered by Operation Plan (Oplan) Exodus.

The goal of Oplan Exodus was to neutralize high value targets (HVTs) who were international terrorists—i.e., Zhulkifli Bin Hir/Zulkifli Abhir (Marwan); Ahmad Akmad Batabol Usman (Usman); and Amin Baco (Jihad).

Forty-four (44) members of the Special Action Force (SAF)—considered as the elite unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) against terrorism and internal security threats—lost their lives in Mamasapano, while sixteen (16) other SAF members sustained severe injuries.

The tragic incident in Mamasapano raised several questions. How could a group of elite forces be massacred? Who was responsible for their deaths? What caused the tragic encounter in Mamasapano? Who were the hostile forces encountered by the SAF troops?

The Board of Inquiry (BOI) was created by the Philippine National Police (PNP) primarily to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the Mamasapano encounter, to establish facts regarding Oplan Exodus, to determine possible lapses in the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus, and to provide recommendations in order to address such possible lapses.

The methodology used by the BOI in preparing this Report is described in Chapter 1.

The BOI notes that information obtained from certain key personalities were limited. For instance, the BOI failed to secure an interview with the President Benigno Aquino III, suspended Chief PNP (CPNP) Alan Purisima, Chief-of-Staff AFP (CSAFP) General Gregorio Catapang, and Lieutenant General Rustico Guerrero. All concerned officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) refused to be interviewed by the BOI despite repeated requests.

The BOI did not have access to other crucial information such as contents of Short Messaging System (SMS) or text messages, and logs of calls and SMS. BOI’s requests for the submission of cellular phones for forensic examination were also denied by CSAFP Catapang, Guerrero, suspended CPNP Purisima and AFP officers. However, the sworn statement of suspended CPNP Purisima included a transcript of his SMS exchanges with the President on January 25, 2015.

Despite the foregoing limitations, the BOI succeeded in conducting several interviews, obtaining various types of evidence, processing and reviewing hundreds of documents, and conducting ocular inspection in Mamasapano to produce this Report.

Based on the records, Oplan Exodus was approved by the President and implemented by suspended CPNP Purisima and the Director of SAF (Napeñas) Getulio Napeñas, to the exclusion of the Officer-in-Charge of the Philippine National Police (OIC PNP) Leonardo Espina, who is the concurrent Deputy CPNP for Operations.

On December 16, 2014, the OIC-PNP issued Special Order No. 9851 which directed suspended CPNP Purisima and other suspended PNP officers, to “cease and desist from performing the duties and functions of their respective offices during the pendency of [their respective cases filed by the Ombudsman] until its termination.”

Napeñas and suspended CPNP Purisima ignored the established PNP Chain of Command by excluding OIC-PNP Espina in the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus. Napeñas and suspended CPNP also failed to inform the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (SILG) Mar Roxas about Oplan Exodus, and made no prior coordination with the AFP. Based on the records, SILG and OIC-PNP were informed of Oplan Exodus only in the morning of January 25, 2015 when such operation was already being executed. OIC-PNP was first informed about Oplan Exodus through a phone call by suspended CPNP Purisima at 05:50 a.m. on January 25, 2015. SILG learned about the operation when he got an SMS from Police Director Charles Calima Jr. at 07:43 a.m. on January 25, 2015.

The participation of the suspended CPNP in Oplan Exodus was carried out with the knowledge of the President. Records revealed instances when the suspended CPNP met with the President and Napeñas to discuss Oplan Exodus; and communicated with the President via SMS messages regarding the execution of Oplan Exodus on January 25, 2015.

Records also show that suspended CPNP Purisima failed to deliver his assurances to coordinate with the AFP. At a crucial stage of the crisis, the suspended CPNP Purisima provided inaccurate information from an unofficial source, which further jeopardized the situation of the 55th SAC and 84th Seaborne in Mamasapano.

There are indications that Napeñas may not have considered differing opinions raised by his subordinate commanders. The mission planning appears to have been done by a group of officers and not by a planning team, with inputs heavily influenced by Napeñas. Subordinate commanders expressed that Napeñas had unrealistic planning assumptions such as the swift delivery of artillery fire and the immediate facilitation of ceasefire.

Napeñas chose to employ a “way-in/way-out, by foot and night-only” infiltration and exfiltration Concept of Operation (CONOPS) for Oplan Exodus. During an interview with BOI, Napeñas admitted that he expected casualty of around ten (10) SAF Commandos to accomplish the mission.

Napeñas also admitted that key variables for the success of Oplan Exodus, such as the coordination with the Sixth Infantry Division (6ID), and with the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) were not thoroughly considered in the mission planning. The established protocols and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the AFP, CCCH and AHJAG in providing reinforcement and effecting ceasefire were not sufficiently discussed.

Napeñas proposed to the President the adoption of the “Time-On-Target” (TOT) concept of coordination for Oplan Exodus. Application of the TOT concept restricted disclosure of information to a limited number of persons until the target is engaged. It appears that Napeñas’ primary consideration for adopting the TOT concept was operational security (OPSEC) to reduce the risk of having Oplan Exodus compromised.

The records show that when the President gave instructions to CPNP Purisima and Napeñas to coordinate with the AFP, Napeñas raised his concern that the AFP might be compromised due to intermarriages of some AFP personnel with the local people. He cited previous SAF operations against the same HVTs that were coordinated with the AFP. Suspended CPNP Purisima and Mendez shared the qualms of Napeñas.

When Napeñas proposed to the President the adoption of the TOT concept for Oplan Exodus, the President remained silent.

Police Superintendent Raymund Train of the 84th SAC (one of the survivors from the Mamasapano encoutner) attested that, in case of heavy enemy fire, the first planned mitigating action for Oplan Exodus was indirect artillery fire support from the AFP. The second planned mitigating action was the commissioning of the peace process mechanisms to facilitate ceasefire.

However, Napeñas failed to consider the consequences of the TOT concept vis-a-vis the required mitigating actions. He appeared to have relied heavily on the verbal commitment of the suspended CPNP Purisima to arrange for the needed AFP support. Coordination with the 6ID and CCCH and AHJAG was planned to be made at TOT, that was, upon engagement of the target. There was no plan for close air support.

With respect to the peace process mechanisms as mitigating actions in Oplan Exodus, the required coordination to trigger such mechanisms (such as a ceasefire) were not followed.

Prior communication with Brigadier General Carlito Galvez could have informed Napeñas that, in past experiences, a ceasefire could only be achieved after at least six (6) hours of negotiation.

By the time the AFP was informed about Oplan Exodus, a hostile encounter between the SAF Commandos and various armed groups in Mamasapano had already ensued.

Considering that the CONOPS adopted the way-in/way-out-in/way- that the CONOPS adopted heavy support from other SAF Commandos to secure the withdrawal route of the Main Effort (Seaborne). The plan was for the 84th Seaborne to link-up with 55th SAC and progressively with 4SAB units along the withdrawal route.

The delay in the movement of the Seaborne affected the movement of the 4SAB and other reserve forces. When the containment and reserve forces arrived at the Vehicle Drop-off Point (VDOP), the situation in the area of operation was already hostile. Heavy sound of gunfire were heard coming from the location of the 55th SAC. The troops immediately disembarked, organized themselves and rushed to their designed waypoints (WP). Midway between WP8 and WP9, the reinforcing troops came under heavy enemy fire. The exfiltration route became dominated by hostile forces. The Ground Commander at the Advance Command Post (ACP) was not able to maneuver the troops to break enemy lines and force their way to reinforce the 55th SAC Commandos near WP12. Ineffective communication system further exacerbated the situation.

During the site survey in Mamasapano on February 24, 2015, the BOI took note of the unfavorable terrain faced by the reinforcing troops. The wide terrain between their location and that of the 55th SAC was literally flat without adequate cover and concealment. Tactical maneuvers, such as the “Bounding Overwatch” technique, would have been difficult and may result to more casualties. According to the platoon leaders, enemy fires were coming from all directions which prevented them from maneuvering and reinforcing 55th SAC.

In a joint interview with BOI, Mayor Ampatuan of Mamasapano and the Barangay Chairman and Officials of Tukanalipao in Mamasapano claimed that in the past, armed elements would readily withdraw from the encounter site whenever white phosphorous rounds were delivered by the Field Artillery Battery of the 6ID PA.

In an interview with BOI, Napeñas claimed that the 6ID immediately provided artillery fire support when one of its infantry company was harassed by armed elements sometime in late November or early December 2014.

However, during the execution of Oplan Exodus, three (3) white phosphorous rounds were delivered late in the afternoon and not earlier in the morning when such rounds could have mattered most to the 84th Seaborne and the 55th SAC.

SAF coordinated and requested for indirect artillery fire support from the 1st Mechanized Brigade as early as 07:30 a.m. The Brigade Commander of the 1st Mech Brigade, Colonel Gener Del Rosario sought clearance for artillery fire from the 6ID Commander, Major General Edmundo Pangilinan. However, of the three recommendations given by Col. Del Rosario, only the dispatches of infantry support and mechanized support were approved by MGEN Pangilinan. The request for indirect artillery fire was put on hold since, according to Pangilinan, they still lacked details as mandated by their protocol.

Based on the records, MGEN Pangilinan took it upon himself to withhold artillery fire support in consideration of the peace process and artillery fire protocols. However, pursuant to AAR, PA SOP No. 4, that decision could have been made by a Brigade Commander like Col. del Rosario.

The primary objective of Oplan Exodus to get the HVTs was not fully completed. Two of its targets, Jihad and Usman, were able to escape and remain at-large.

Three hundred ninety-two (392) SAF Commandos were mobilized for Oplan Exodus. Forty-four (44) SAF members lost their lives in carrying out this mission.

In discovering the facts that lead to such deaths, this Report stresses the importance of command responsibility: “A commander is responsible for what his unit does or fails to do.”

FINDINGS

1. Chain of Command

The Chain of Command in the PNP was violated. The President, the suspended CPNP Purisima and the former Director SAF Napeñas kept the information to themselves and deliberately failed to inform the OIC PNP and the SILG. The Chain of Command should be observed in running mission operations.

For instance, the Manual for PNP Fundamental Doctrine , requires the Commander to discharge his responsibilities through a Chain of Command. Such Manual provides that it is “only in urgent situations when intermediate commanders may be bypassed. In such instances, intermediate commanders should be notified of the context of the order as soon as possible by both the commander issuing the order and the commander receiving it.”

With respect to Oplan Exodus, the Chain of Command in the PNP should have been: OIC, CPNP PDDG Espina (as senior commander) to Napeñas (as intermediate commander). PDG Purisima could not legally form part of the Chain of Command by reason of his suspension.

2. Command Responsibility

The principle of Command Responsibility demands that a commander is responsible for all that his unit does or fails to do. Command Responsibility cannot be delegated or passed-on to other officers. Under the Manual for PNP Fundamental Doctrine, Command Responsibility “can never be delegated otherwise it would constitute an abdication of his role as a commander. He alone answers for the success or failure of his command in all circumstances.”

Based on the records, Napeñas admitted that he had command responsibility with respect to Oplan Exodus.

3. Coordination

The TOT coordination concept, which limits the disclosure of information to only a few personnel, is applicable only to ordinary police operations. This concept however does not conform to the established and acceptable operational concepts and protocols of the PNP. Even AFP commanders asserted that the TOT concept is alien to the Armed Forces and runs counter to their established SOPs. Without coordination, following the AFP definition, support to operating units such as artillery or close air support is not possible since these entails preparations.

4. Operation Plan

Oplan Exodus was not approved by the OIC-PNP. Napeñas dominated the mission planning, disregarding inputs from his subordinate commanders on how the operation will be conducted. The concept of the way-in/way-out, by foot, and night-only infiltration and exfiltration in an enemy controlled community with unrealistic assumptions was a high-risk type of operation.

5. Execution

Oplan Exodus can never be executed effectively because it was defective from the very beginning. Troop movement was mismanaged, troops failed to occupy their positions, there was lack of effective communication among the operating troops, command and control was ineffective and foremost, there was no coordination with the AFP forces and peace mechanism entities (CCCH and AHJAG).

6. Command and Control

Command and control is critical to a coordinated and collaborative response to the Mamasapano Incident. In Oplan Exodus, the SAF’s TCP and ACP were plagued by failures of command and control from the very start especially in the aspect of communication. As Oplan Exodus unfolded, mobile communication devices was used as a primary mode of communication. However, these devices fell short of what were needed to relay real-time information and coordination of activities to and from the chain of command.

Radio Operators were assigned at the TCP one each for 84th Seaborne and 55th SAC. However, 55th SAC and 84th Seaborne lost contact during the crucial moments of executing Oplan Exodus. They had to rely on distinctive gunfire to approximate each other’s location. Radio net diagram was provided but failed when radio equipment bogged down.

7. Logistics

Some of the ordnance for M203 were defective. Although there were sufficient rounds of ammunition for each operating troop, the overwhelming strength of the enemy caused the troops to run out of ammunition. The common Motorola handheld radios failed when submerged in water because these were not designed for military-type of operations. The battery life was short because of wear and tear.

8. AFP Response

Artillery fire support was factored in as one of the mitigating actions of the SAF. However, such support was not delivered when needed. In consideration of the peace process, AFP did not deliver the artillery fire support under the consideration of the peace process, and on the absence of compliance with the required protocol. AFP demanded prior coordination to enable them to react and deliver the requested support. Nonetheless, the AFP sent infantry and mechanized units to reinforce the SAF. White phosphorus artillery rounds were fired late in the afternoon. However, by then, all of the 55th SAC lay dead except for one who was able to escape.

Local PNP units were not fully utilized to reinforce the SAF. The reinforcement from the local and Regional PNP units were not seriously factored-in during the mission planning process.

9. Peace Process Mechanisms

Officials of the CCCH and AHJAG, when tapped by AFP, did their best to reinstate the ceasefire between the SAF and MILF combatants. The participation of other armed groups such as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), private armed groups (PAGs), and other armed civilians in the firefight delayed the ceasefire.

10. United States (US) Involvement

The US was involved in the intelligence operations and medical evacuations. No US personnel/troops were involved in the actual combat operation. The US supported the operation by providing technical support to enhance monitoring of the troops on the ground.

They were also involved in the identification of Marwan through DNA analysis.

11. Post-Mission Actions

The report submitted by the PNP Crime Laboratory shows that around four (4) SAF commandos with fatal gunshot wounds (GSWs) to the head and at the mid-portion of the trunk were deathblows delivered by shooting at close-range. In other words, not all the forty-four (44) fatalities died during the actual firefight, but were literally executed at close-range by the enemy.

A total of 16 SAF firearms and one (1) cellphone were returned by the MILF. It was observed that some parts of the returned firearms had been replaced.

CONCLUSIONS

Based on the foregoing, the following conclusions were drawn:

1. The President gave the go-signal and allowed the execution of Oplan Exodus after the concept of operations (CONOPS) was presented to him by Director of Special Action Force (SAF) Police Director Getulio Napeñas.

2. The President allowed the participation of the suspended Chief Philippine National Police (CPNP) Police Director General Alan Purisima in the planning and execution of the Oplan Exodus despite the suspension order of the Ombudsman.

3. The President exercised his prerogative to deal directly with Napeñas instead of Officer-in-Charge of the PNP (OIC-PNP) Police Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina. While the President has the prerogative to deal directly with any of his subordinates, the act of dealing with Napeñas instead of OIC-PNP Espina bypassed the established PNP Chain of Command. Under the Manual for PNP Fundamental Doctrine , the Chain of Command runs upward and downward. Such Manual requires the commander to discharge his responsibilities through a Chain of Command.

4. The suspended CPNP Purisima violated the preventive suspension order issued by the Ombudsman when he participated in the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus. He also violated the Special Order No. 9851 dated December 16, 2014 issued by OIC-PNP Espina, directing him and other suspended PNP officers to “cease and desist from performing the duties and functions of their respective offices during the pendency of the case until its termination.”

5. In the same meeting where the President instructed Napeñas and suspended CPNP Purisima to coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) , PDG Purisima thereafter said to Napeñas: “Ako na ang bahala kay Catapang.” The PNP Ethical Doctrine Manual cites, “Word of Honor – PNP members’ word is their bond. They stand by and commit to it.” The statement of Purisima may be construed as an assurance of providing the coordination instructed by the President.

6. Suspended CPNP Purisima provided inaccurate information to the President about the actual situation on the ground when he sent text messages to the President stating that SAF Commandos were pulling out , and that they were supported by mechanized and artillery support.

7. Despite his knowledge of the suspension order issued by the Ombudsman, Napeñas followed the instructions of suspended CPNP Purisima not to inform OIC-PNP and the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (SILG) Mar Roxas about Oplan Exodus. This violated the PNP Chain of Command.

8. Napeñas failed to effectively supervise, control and direct personnel, which resulted in heavy casualties of the SAF Commandos. Under the Manual on Fundamental Doctrines, Command Responsibility means that a commander is responsible for effectively supervising, controlling, and directing his personnel. Under the same doctrine, a commander is responsible for what his unit does or fails to do.

9. Napeñas followed his Time-on-Target (TOT) coordination concept despite the directive of the President to coordinate with the AFP prior to the operation.

10. The TOT coordination concept adopted by the SAF does not conform with the established and acceptable operational concepts and protocols of the PNP.

11. The protocols of the established peace process mechanisms, through the Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), were not observed during the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus.

12. The mission planning of Oplan Exodus was defective due to: (1) poor analysis of the area of operation; (2) unrealistic assumptions; (3) poor intelligence estimate; (4) absence of abort criteria; (5) lack of flexibility in its CONOPS; (6) inappropriate application of TOT; and (7) absence of prior coordination with the AFP and AHJAG.

13. The following factors affected the execution of CONOPS: (1) mismanaged movement plan from staging area to Vehicle-Drop-Off Point (VDOP); (2) failure to occupy the designated way points; (3) ineffective communication system among the operating troops; (4) unfamiliarity with the terrain in the area of operation; (5) non-adherence to operational/tactical Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs); (6) lack of situational awareness among commanders; and (6) breakdown in the command and control.

14. Artillery support from 6th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (6ID-PA) was not delivered when needed most because Major General Edmundo Pangilinan, Division Commander of 6ID, considered the on-going peace process and protocols in the use of artillery.

15. The lack of situational awareness, limited cover and concealment, ineffective communication, and sustained enemy fire prevented the 1st Special Action Battalion (1SAB) and 4SAB containment forces from reinforcing the beleaguered 55th Special Action Company (SAC) troops.

16. CCCH and AHJAG undertook all efforts to reinstate the ceasefire. “Pintakasi” and the loose command and control of the MILF leaders over their field forces contributed to the difficulty in reinstating the ceasefire.

17. Some of the radios of the SAF Commandos were unreliable because these were not designed for military-type tactical operations. The batteries had poor power-retention capability due to wear-and-tear. Furthermore, SAF radios were not compatible with AFP radios for interoperability.

18. There was a breakdown of command and control at all levels due to ineffective and unreliable communication among and between the operating units.

19. There are indications that 55th SAC was not able to secure its perimeter, conduct reconnaissance, occupy vantage positions and establish observation posts.

20. Several rounds of ammunition of M203 grenade launchers were ¬¬-defective.

21. The United States involvement was limited to intelligence sharing and medical evacuation. Only SAF Commandos were involved in the actual combat operation of Oplan Exodus.

22. Autopsy reports indicate that four (4) SAF Commandos were shot at close-range while they were still alive. Records also indicate the possibility that some SAF Commandos were stripped-off their protective vests prior to being shot at close-range.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on this Report’s findings and conclusions, the Board of Inquiry (BOI) recommends the following:

1. Where the facts of this Report indicate possible violations of existing laws and regulations, appropriate government agencies should pursue the investigation of the Mamasapano Incident to determine the criminal and/or administrative liabilities of relevant government officials, the MILF and other individuals.

2. The AFP and the PNP, in coordination with OPAPP, should immediately review, clarify and strengthen the Joint AFP/PNP Operational Guidelines for Ad Hoc Joint Action Group especially in the area of coordination during Law Enforcement Operations (LEO) against HVTs.

3. The AFP and the PNP should jointly review related provisions of their respective written manuals and protocols to synchronize, reconcile and institutionalize inter-operability not only between these two agencies but also with other relevant government agencies. The National Crisis Management Core Manual (NCMC Manual) could be one of the essential references.

4. Crisis management simulation exercises (similar to fire and earthquake drills) should be regularly conducted among key players including local government units particularly in conflict prone areas.

5. The PNP should formally create and institutionalize a permanent office to orchestrate and synchronize institutional responses to various situations such as the peace process in Mindanao and other related situations. The understaffed and ad hoc arrangement provided by the existing PNP Focal Team on the Peace Process (FTPP) and the recent designation of a senior police official in AHJAG are examples of usual short-term solutions which do not appear to be sufficient.

6. The PNP should review its Police Operational Procedures to cover operations similar to Oplan Exodus and to clarify coordination issues.

7. The PNP should craft its own Mission Planning Manual and institutionalize its application in PNP law enforcement operations.

8. The capabilities of SAF and other PNP Maneuver Units for Move, Shoot, Protect, Communicate and Close Air Support (CAS) should be enhanced.

9. The PNP should review its supply management system to ensure operational readiness of munitions and ordnance.

10. Cross-training between the PNP and the AFP pertaining to management and execution of military-type tactical operations should be institutionalized.

11. The PNP should immediately grant 1 rank promotion to all surviving members of the 84th Seaborne and PO2 Lalan for their heroism and gallantry in action, posthumous promotion to the fallen 44 SAF commandos, and should give appropriate recognition to all other participating elements.

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ON THE BOI REPORT AND PH OMBUDSMAN”S SUSPENSION OF MAKATI CITY MAYOR JUNJUN BINAY

EPCC NEWS
March 12, 2015

ON THE BOI REPORT AND PH OMBUDSMAN”S SUSPENSION OF MAKATI CITY MAYOR JUNJUN BINAY

Los Angeles- “ The BOI Report submitted by the PNP to the DILG is the most credible report sans cooperation from the President and resigned PNP Chief of all the other reports.”

This was the consensus of the Southern California FilAm Community leaders in TALAKAYAN sa FACLA last Thursday, March 12, 2015.

They were all were still united in their support for the Ombudsman’s suspension order for Makati City Mayor Junjun yesterday, March 12 in the Philippines. On the other hand, Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay refused to honor the order as of the press time.

On the PNP BOI Report

Dr. Orly Cagampan said,” Of all the other investigations, the PNP Board Of Inquiry is the most comprehensive and factual report ever made.
It is just a pity that the President pre-empted the report by laying all the blame on the Mamasapano Fiasco to former SAF chief General Leo Napenas.

I can say that the BOI report is 90% credible except the 10% that the President and former PN Chief Alan Purisisima’s refusal to share to the BOI has been denied to the public.

I still cannot believe that some government officials does not have the integrity and dignity to face the truth and are becoming obsctacles to the truth. ” Cagampan explained

On Junjun Binay’s Suspension as Mayor

Alliance National Coordinator Al P. Garcia said,” the refusal of Mayor Junjun Binay to follow the Sandiganbayan’s order to vacate his post is totally disgusting.

His use of their brand of “people’s power” to defy the court order is a trademark of traditional dynastic politicians.”

KOR leader Rudy Ferran said, “He is still wary of Binay’s use of people’s power in the wrong way and is like a leech clinging to this post like all TRAPOS does.

But I believe that the truth is that he is only making such show to allay the fears of his followers and afraid that when he is out on suspension for six months, more evidences against him may be found. That is because his vice mayor is a member of the Liberal Party.” Ferran ended.

For more information about TALAKAYAN please call facla at (213) 484-1527 and visit our website atwww.newfacla.org

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