DAVAO CITY – The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) has lowered the Philippine flag in a half-mast to express their grief over the death of at least 50 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Forces (PNP-SAF) who were killed during a deadly encounter with members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Sunday, a police official said.

“What happened was really unexpected,” DCPO spokesperson Police Senior Inspector Milgrace Cajes Driz said in an interview with Davao Today Monday.

Sunday’s fatal PNP operation was meant to serve a warrant of arrest against a Malaysian national Zulkifli Bin Hir alias “Marwan,” allegedly a member of the Jemaah Islamiyah.

Suara Bangsamoro said the PNP SAF “rushed for the bounty” as “Marwan” has a 5 million dollar bounty from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Amirah Lidasan, national chairperson of Suara Bangsamoro said the “BIFF says the 105th base command of the MILF joined them.”

Lidasan said the government forces “have been inching their way towards the areas still held by the BIFF.”

“For every bombing incident in Mindanao, they’ve been laying the blame on the BIFF in justification for their attacks in the area,” she said.

Lidasan said they fear “that it will escalate into a full blown war in reprisal of the fallen SAF soldiers which could affect the peace negotiations, specifically the deliberation of BBL in congress.”

Driz said that they “salute the cops” who died in the clash.

“We salute them even if that was what happened to them. They were only enforcing the law,” she said.

Asked if the two police killed during the clash are related to DCPO chief Police Senior Superintendent Vicente Danao Jr. Driz said the chief is still checking it with their relatives in Luzon.

PO2 Walner F. Danao and PO2 Franklin C. Danao were among those killed in the clash.

The PNP SAF reportedly did not coordinate with the military and the MILF as provided in the GPH-MILF ceasefire agreement.

As of 6:00 in the morning Monday the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) police has released 41 names of PNP-SAF killed in action in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

  1. PSI Gednat Tabde
  2. PSI RYan Pabalinas
  3. PSI Garamnbas Tria
  4. PI Rennie Tyrus (missing)
  5. SPO1 Lover Inocencio
  6. PO3 Rodrigo Acob Jr.
  7. PO3 Virgil Villanueva
  8. PO2 Roger Cordero
  9. PO2 Peterson Carap
  10. PO2 Nicky Nacino Jr.
  11. PO1 Angel Kodiamat
  12. PO2 Glenn Bedua
  13. PO3 Noel Golocan
  14. PO2 Jerry Kayob
  15. PO2 Noel Balaca
  16. PO1 Romeo Cempron
  17. PO2 Joel Dulnuan
  18. PO2 Christopher Lalan
  19. PO2 Walner F. Danao
  20. PO2 Franklin C. Danao
  21. PO2 Omar A. Nacionales
  22. PO2 Godofredo B. Cabanlit Candano
  23. PO1 Russel B. Bilog
  24. PO1 Loreto Capinding
  25. PO3 Junrel Kibete
  26. PO1 Gringo Cayang-o
  27. PO2 Rodel Ramacula
  28. PO1 Joseph Sagonoy
  29. PO3 John lloyd R. Sumbilla
  30. PO2 Chum Agabon
  31. PO3 RObert Allaga
  32. PO1 Mark Lory Clemencio
  33. PO1 Oliebeth I. Viernes
  34. PO2 Richelle S. Baluga
  35. PO3 Andres V. Duque
  36. PO3 Jedz-in A. Asjali
  37. PO2 Amman M. Esmula
  38. PO3 Victoriano N. Acain
  39. PI Joey S. Gamutan
  40. PI John Garry A. Erana
  41. PSI Cyrus P. Anniban

(with reports from Arcadel Solano, Davao Today Intern)

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