Former defense secretary turned senator, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile questioned the involvement of the United States government in the law enforcement operations of the Philippine National Police—particularly the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) during the Mamasapano operation. The alleged participation of the US is not covered by the Visiting Forces Agreement between the US and the Philippines.
The statement of Sen. Enrile was made during the ongoing Senate probe on the bloody Mamasapano clash which cost the live of the 44 PNP-SAF commandos. The senator stated “This is something the government must explain—why allow a police matter to include US participation. I’m not saying I’m correct but this has to be looked at,” Enrile said.
Sen. Enrile asked SAF chief Getulio Napeñas to elaborate the extent of the US involvement in “Oplan Exodus,” the SAF led operation against international terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir or “Marwan” on January 25, 2015.
Napeñas said through the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) based in Zamboanga City, the US government helped SAF in terms of “real-time intelligence support, training, equipment, humanitarian support through medical evacuation and investigation.”
“The investigation, I’m referring to the finger of Marwan given to them to match his DNA with (that of) his brother,” Napeñas added.