PNP Board of Inquiry members visit clash site with survivor as guide

TUKANALIPAO, Mamasapano (MindaNews / 24 Feb) – the PNP Board of Inquiry on Tuesday tracked the path taken by the Special Action Force commandos last Jan. 25 when they launched Oplan “Exodus” to get the Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan.

Led by Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong, the police investigators retraced the SAF’s steps with a survivor acting as guide.

Policemen and Army soldiers escorted the investigators while Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters watched from a distance.

The operation to get Marwan took a heavy toll – 44 SAF commandos, 18 MILF fighters and 4 civilians dead – as well as threatened to derail the 17-year peace process that would have ended the decades-old Moro insurgency.

Supt. Noel Armilla, acting PNP director for the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, said the team, however, did not go to the hut in Barangay Pidsandawan where Marwan was reportedly killed by the SAF 84th Company.

Armilla said they only retraced where the PNP 41st, 42nd and 45th SAF companies were positioned that fateful day.

He said they also visited the cornfield where most from the 55th SAF Company died in a gun battle with MILF fighters in Barangay Tukanalipao.

“We just retraced the waypoints taken by these SAF companies. We did not go where Marwan died,” Armilla said.

Magalong did not release any statement to reporters pending the outcome of their investigation.

He said he and other members of the Board of Inquiry will leave for Manila Wednesday, leaving only a few people to continue the investigation.

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