Solons want more details on US hand in Mamasapano incident

Apr. 14, 2015

Lawmakers from Gabriela Women’s Partylist want more explanation on the involvement of US troops in the execution of Oplan Exodus on January 25 which claimed the lives of SAF commandos including civilians and Moro fighters.

Representative Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus, in a statement on Tuesday, said they want to know the “depth and extent of the involvement of American nationals in the planning and execution of Oplan Exodus.”

“The Filipino people demand to know why and how President Aquino openly invited or allowed the heavy participation of at least two groups of non-Filipino operatives in the tactical command posts near the battle zone coordinating with SAF director Napenas, and possibly a third group embedded in the firefight. Despite disclaimers that try to play down American military assistance as tech support, how come claims are emerging that apparently, one Caucasian looking individual in civilian attire even tried to order a Filipino general to fire artillery?” asked  Ilagan.

De Jesus also expressed dissatisfaction with the Department of Justice Secretary Leila Delima’s lengthy defense of possible US involvement in last week’s hearing.

De Jesus said the public should not allow US to use the “war on terror” as a reason to meddle on state’s affairs which is allowed “by the President upon his approval of the Oplan Exodus.”

The lawmakers said today’s sessions must reveal “more details that will help Congress and the public form a groundswell of opinion” to demand the abrogation of two bilateral agreements – the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA),  which they claim as a “major factor in the repeated intrusions in the Philippines’ defense policies and operations.”

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