Bayan seeks FBI’s help to uncover US role in Mamasapano
An overseas chapter of militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) has filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request before the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a bid to uncover the supposed involvement of American forces in the ill-fated Mamasapano operation last year.
Bayan’s announcement of the filing on Wednesday coincided with the reopening of the Senate inquiry on the botched police operation that left 44 Special Action Force troopers and several others dead in the hunt for international terrorist Zulkifi bin Hir alias Marwan.
“Over 60 Filipinos died and witnesses also saw the body of an American at the covert US-designed Mamasapano operation one year ago, yet the US has still not come clean about the extent of its role in the carnage,” Bayan-USA chair Bernadette Ellorin said in a statement.
“We are filing this Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI because the Filipino and American people have the right to know the full truth about this botched mission,” she said.
Bayan-USA’s request asks for documentation on the FBI’s involvement in the operation, including internal correspondence between the FBI Los Angeles Field Office and Philippine authorities on Marwan’s apprehension; manuals or guidelines used by US agents in training the SAF to execute the operation; responses to the requests of the Philippine government for assistance in the evacuation of casualties in the aftermath of the operation; results of the FBI Laboratory’s analysis of Marwan’s DNA; and provision of any monetary award to the SAF or Philippine authorities for the identification of Marwan’s DNA.
Citing official reports by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Senate, Ellorin said the US involvement in the operation previously called “Oplan Exodus” became clear as proven by the presence of six Americans at the Tactical Command Post for the mission, and an American who “ordered a Philippine Major General to fire artillery.”
In a sworn testimony, former SAF chief Getulio Napeñas previously said Marwan’s tissue sample acquired by the SAF was forwarded to FBI agents in General Santos City.
In the probe’s reopening on Wednesday, Napeñas said the US government, through the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines, aided the SAF in terms of “real-time intelligence support, training, equipment, humanitarian support through medical evacuation and investigation.
Ellorin said it would be “senseless” to give the US military increased access to Philippine territory under the controversial Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) if the US government would not admit “any wrongdoing” in the operation.
“The US has dodged accountability for the Mamasapano carnage and countless more military-related crimes against the Filipino people, but (US President Barack) Obama and (President Benigno) Aquino continue to push for the implementation of the Edca,” she said. CDG
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