Espina turns emotional, blasts overkill of SAF men


MANILA – Emotions ran high during Wednesday’s hearing on the Mamasapano encounter as Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina became emotional as he decried the “overkill” of 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers in Mamasapano last January 25.

In an emotionally charged speech at the House of Representatives, Espina demanded answers on why many of his injured men were finished off and shot at close range.

He said this is contrary to the statement of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that their members who were involved in the bloody encounter merely acted in self-defense.

“We seek for clear answers from the other party of the peace process…Ano ba ‘tong overkill na ginawa nyo sa mga tao ko,” he said.

He then named three SAF troopers who did not sustain lethal shots on the body but sustained shots to the head.

“Tatatlo pa lang yung sinasabi ko. 20 others, all with head shots.”

Espina showed frustration with some of the questions posed during the hearing on whether or not the SAF mission was legal or properly coordinated.

He said he wanted answers “so that when my time comes, I can face my people and at least I can say something.”

“Sana nga sinasabi ko kasama ko nalang sila [sa operation],” he said.

A crying former SAF director Getulio Napenas then approached Espina and hugged him. The SAF director then went back to his seat, still crying.

Napenas earlier confirmed he only informed Espina of the mission to neutralize Malaysian bomb-maker Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Filipino terror suspect Basit Usman when the firefight had already started in Mamasapano.

Marwan was killed by the police commandos but 44 of them died on the battlefield when combined forces of the MILF, its breakaway group the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and other lawless elements surrounded them in the village of Tukanalipao.

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  • Juan
    11 February 2015 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Ancient time,Mindanao, Muslim areas,was ruled by Sultan,Raja, Datu, Emir.Then democracy came,politicians were elected, they were the ruler,leaders of their town/provinces. Most Muslim politicians were abusive and corrupt.Remember the Maguindanao massacre,magkakamag-anak na politoko ang nagpapatayan. Then si PNOY ang umupo, ibinigay ang power sa Moslem Autonomy Gov’t. sa ngayon peace treaty palang until 2016. Today,Mindanao became the hiding place for foreign terrorist, like Marwan/Usman.Kung wala sana ang Autonomy, the Muslim politicians private army ang papatay kay Marwan.Kaya from the time of Marcos up to GMA, walang foreign terrorist nagtagal na buhay sa Mindanao.Today, mahirap nang pumasok ang Pulis at Military sa mga designated autonomy areas, not unless you are a Moslem. After 2016, ang mga leader nang Autonomy ay puwedeng humungi nang economic or military aid sa Saudi Gov’t., pag malakas na sila hihiwalay na ang Mindanao sa Pilipinas.Puwede pang hindi itoloy ang Autonomy peace talk, ibalik ang corrupt muslim politicians, at least hindi mawawala ang Mindanao.

  • Delia
    12 February 2015 at 6:49 am - Reply

    Where are those filipino protesters ? I dont see or hear any rallies protesting around the world againts the murders of 44 soldiers. Yet, they went rampant rallying daily on that transgender person.

    Logic says this incredible retardation cannot go on forever but apparently it has, it does, and it will. A bit depressing perhaps but we have an immense capacity for collective stupidity.