MANILA -- Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Saturday criticized former Special Action Force (SAF) commander Getulio Napenas for supposedly lying when the latter told the Senate that his men killed about 250 Moro rebels during the Mamasapano clash.
Speaking to dzMM, Trillanes said Napeñas misled the public when he said that the SAF troopers managed to kill about 250 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters and other lawless elements.
''That is to create that impression na ang dami ng kalaban pero ang kalaban nila 100 hangang 150 lamang. Nalaman iyan dun din sa witnesses on both sides,'' Trillanes said.
The MILF and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have already denied that they suffered such heavy casualties during the clash. SAF lost 44 of its troopers on that fateful day, which has hurt the peace talks between the government and the MILF.
Napeñas has blamed the military for not immediately sending reinforcements for his besieged men, even as he himself has been getting flak for employing the time on target plan in carrying out the raid.
Using the time on target principle, Napeñas only informed the military of the raid only on the day of the operation itself.
Napeñas earlier claimed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines cannot be trusted with sensitive information, including the police's efforts to arrest Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, who was the subject of the January 25 raid.
Napeñas has always defended the time on target principle in carrying out the raid, saying previous attempts to arrest Marwan failed because the operation was coordinated with the AFP and the MILF.
WINE AND DINE
In the radio interview, Trillanes also claimed that some of the military commanders were invited for a drink by some police officials the night before the raid just to make sure that they won't operate.
Trillanes said this information was revealed in one the executive sessions of the Senate on the Mamasapano clash.
"The same night na mag-o-operate itong SAF ay inilabas na nila sa isang inuman yo'ng brigade commander at the battalion commander ng Army. Iyong intelligence officer ng PNP, inimbita nila na mag-inuman,'' Trillanes said.
"Ang objective nila doon, para masigurado na hindi mag-o-perate yo'ng Army kasi gusto nilang solohin ang misyon na ito."
Trillanes has also revealed that there were about 120 SAF commandos ready to support the 55th Special Action Company engaged in a firefight in Barangay Tukanalipao. However, the 120 SAF men refused to do anything to save their comrades because they were unfamiliar with the terrain.
He said he personally got permission to reveal details of the executive sessions from the Army resource persons involved because he could not secure the majority's consent.