Napeñas admits US hand in intelligence sharing during Mamasapano operation
MANILA, Philippines — The United States indeed helped the Philippines in terms of intelligence sharing during the Mamasapano operation but not in actual combat operations, relieved Philippine National Police-Special Action Force head Director Getulio Napeñas told a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
It was Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto who again brought up during the Senate hearing on incident the issue about the alleged US’ involvement in the operation, citing among others, the Google Maps and US drones that were allegedly used to guide the SAF troopers to locate Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias “Marwan.”
“Merong eropanong lumilipad na nagbibigay sa inyo ng aerial view sa command center n’yo that there are American operatives also in their command center na napanaoood n’yo in real time. ‘Yung 84th SAF habang binaril si Marwan, habang kinukuha n’yo ‘yung 84th SAF napapanood n’yo in real time e,” Recto said.
(There was a drone which gave you an aerial view in your command center that there were also American operatives also in their command center whom could also see real time. You could also see in real time while Marwan was being shot and while 84th SAF men were being extracted.)
“Tumulong ‘yung US counterpart dun sa intelligence but the details of intelligence sharing ay madi-discuss po ‘yan ni Senior Supt. Mendez,” Napeñas said, referring to PNP Intelligence Group Director Fernando Mendez.
(Our US counterpart helped in the intelligence gathering, but the details of intelligence sharing will be discussed by Senior Supt. Mendez.)
“Meron kaming isang US counterpart du’n sa Seaborn who’s working with them in terms of training…Kasama po na ibinibigay nila ‘yung maps na ginagamit for operation but never nakasama ‘yung US counterpart in actual combat operations,” he said.
(We were joined by a US counterpart in Seaborn who was working with them in terms of training. They gave us maps which we used for operation, but he never joined us in the combat operations.)
He repeated his earlier testimony that the US provided medical evacuation for the SAF troops who were wounded and killed in the operation.
But when Napeñas was starting to talk about the US drones, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima immediately stopped him, saying he would be dwelling on matters of diplomatic relations.
“Your honor, excuse me. May I interject? May I just remind the officer here that he’s already dwelling on matters of diplomatic relations and military intelligence…?” De Lima asked.
Senator Grace Poe, who is presiding over the hearing, agreed that they should be “very careful” in discussing the particulars in a public hearing.
Recto acceded and did not raise further questions.
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