SAF troopers were not able to observe planned timeline: Entry delayed by two hours

Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Director Benjamin Magalong, head of Board of Inquiry said in today’s Senate hearing “the SAF troopers were not able to observe the entry plan. The entry of Seaborne (84th Special Action Company) was delayed by two hours.”

“The advance of Seaborne followed the planned route with some modifications, but they were delayed by the difficult terrain and the strong current of the river.

“The support groups (55th, 45th, 42nd, and 41st Special Action Companies) were unable to reach their designated positions because they depended on the movement of Seaborne to synchronize their own movements. Despite all these problems, Seaborne was still able to neutralize Marwan,” Police Director Magalong said.

The main effort, 84th Seaborne, started to exit after Marwan was neutralized at 4:15 am of January 25 still following the planned route even under fire. They were suppose to link up with 55th Special Action Company, however, it was already engaged with Moro rebels from around 5:20 am to 1 pm. Last radio communication with 55th was recorded 1 pm.

Only one out of thirty-six troopers of 55th SAF Company survived, while twenty-nine out of thirty-eight 84th SAF Seaborne troopers were rescued. Seven police commissioned officers and 37 police non-commissioned officers were killed.