Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang confirmed in a televised press conference today that President Benigno Aquino III informed him about the operation of Special Action Force. He remembered Aquino first told him about SAF’s operation last November 18, 2014 during the state visit to Singapore.
General Catapang added that the President reminded him about the operation last December 18 during the celebration of AFP anniversary, the president said “Greg coordinate with PNP. Make sure there is detailed coordination. SAF has an operation. Make sure you are well-coordinated.”
On January 23, Western Mindanao Command Chief Lt. Gen. Rustico Guerrero and officers of 6th Infantry Division had a meeting with relieved SAF Chief Police Director Getulio Napeñas Jr., however, the meeting was not productive because Napeñas did not bring his intelligence officer.
“And then all of a sudden, January 25, the ops was launched without us being informed,” General Catapang said.
Catapang said that 6th Infantry Division sent reinforcement, however, ranged fire support can’t be initiated. “E kung tatamaan na po yung SAF magiging friendly fire. Yun po ang iniiwasan natin kaya very important po yung coordination.”