Youth party joins nation in mourning for lives lost in Mamasapano clash

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Photo by Althea Ballentes/EPA and Rappler.com
Photo by Althea Ballentes/EPA and Rappler.com

Solon: Probe extent of US involvement in ‘Operation Wolverine’

MANILA, 31Jan2015 — “On the part of the Filipino youth, we join the nation in mourning for the untimely death of our countrymen in the gruesome encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go to the families and friends of each and every victim of the tragedy.”

This was Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon’s statement on Friday, as the nation observed a “national day of mourning” following the deadly encounter Sunday that left 44 SAF officers and 5 MILF members dead.

“As more details come in, it is becoming clearer that the tragedy can be rooted from the botched planning and command during the operation. What is not clear, however, is if the PNP top brass and the commander-in-chief, President Aquino, will ever admit responsibility for the bungled operation,” Ridon said.

The legislator added that the involvement of the US government in Operation Wolverine should be probed deeper since there is evidence that US forces played a large role in the plan.

“This tragedy is not only the result of a ‘mis-encounter’ or a few lost commands on the ground. There have been reports that US forces were the ones that pushed and insisted for the dangerous operation, in effect using Philippine forces as pawns in yet another of Washington’s proxy wars,” Ridon said.

Reports have shown that the plan to capture Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan has been in place as early as 2010. In one report, it was revealed that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and ranking police officials hatched the actual operation in September 2014, following receipt of information on Marwan’s whereabouts.

The reports further show that US forces used drones and GPS to locate the suspected terrorists.

“If these reports are to be believed, then US forces have indeed played a large role in the planning and execution of Operation Wolverine. However, neither the Palace nor the PNP top brass have spoken to clarify this matter. Everyone in government is mum about Washington’s involvement in the botched operation. What is the cause of this deafening silence?”

“Certainly, there is more to this issue than what first meets the eye. The involvement of US forces, along with their other covert and possibly even illegal operations in conflict areas in Mindanao should also be probed deeper,” Ridon said.

“It is very likely that Washington is directly behind this operation, and Aquino, ever the lapdog, green-lighted it. It is in the interest of the public, especially the families of those who perished, that the whole truth on the matter be revealed,” Ridon added.

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