As sworn statements and reports start coming to Philippine National Police Board of Inquiry, PNP OIC Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina begins asking, where are the 300 plus Special Action Force troopers who were suppose to provide support to force providing blockage (55th Special Action Company) for the main force 84th Seaborne Team.
The plan was, after the 84th Seaborne Team neutralizes Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan they will meet the 55th Special Action Company. However, the blocking force was already engaged with Moro rebels from Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
After several hours of gun fight thirty five troopers from 55th SAC where killed with only one survivor PO2 Christopher Lalan. While on 84th Seaborne Team, nine out of forty-one troopers died.
The Board of Inquiry was given one month to finish its report.
“The support elements could not get in because 55th SAC was practically surrounded. We did send the reinforcements from different approaches, but could not penetrate the bulk of the enemy until about 1 p.m.,” PNP-SAF OIC Noli Taliño said in his eulogy for the 44 SAF troopers.
While the Armed Forces of the Philippines said after conducting its own probe, “The AFP categorically states that everything that could be done was done under the circumstance with due consideration to avoid fratricide and collateral damage.”