The Senate of the Philippines released today the exchange of text messages between President Aquino and suspended now resigned Philippine National Police chief Director General Alan Purisima during the January 25, 2015 Special Action Forces operation against two high value targets Basit Usman and Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan.
5:45AM Purisima: Sir good morning, for info, SAF elements implemented oplan vs high value targets. as of now, result indicate that marwan was killed and 1 saf trooper wounded; body of marwan left behind but pictures were taken; troopers are now withdrawal phase and progress report to follow.
7:36AM President Aquino: Why was it left behind? the other two targets?
7:48AM Purisima: Sir, accordingly, when nearest target from the line of approach is M1, and when they hit the primary target, the other house where Basit Usman was located, reacted and fired at troopers… there were about 15-20 armed elements, it was about 4:30am and it was decided that they pull out after gathering pictures and other evidence, they were not able to reach secondary target, sir.
7:59AM President Aquino: If i remember correctly, 160 SAF troopers involved plus provisions for other pnp and afp units to assist, terrain is flat and clear as opposed to upland, forested or jungle terrain. why could they not contain/overwhelm the 15-20 opposing force? are they still in contact with the other two targets? if not, and opposing force escaped, are we now back to square one?
8:17AM Purisima: they are presently in contact with reinforcing elements with BIFF, the containment forces are in contact right now, they are supported by mechanized and artillery support sir…
8:18AM Purisima: the local target Basit and his group, the first group engaged by main effort group.
8:41AM President Aquino: review your earlier and latest texts they differ on which was engaged first.
8:45AM Purisima: the first target was M1, where they were able to neutralize, the group of basit retaliated which was 100m away.
10:16AM President Aquino: Basit should not get away
11:38AM Purisima: Sir, as of the moment the main effort is withdrawing, we still have contact and we will hit them again.
6:20PM Purisima: Sir, latest report from operating elements in Maguindanao say, that security elements engaged by MILF/BIFF, suffered heavy casualties, reportedly overrun, CCCH and IMT in the area retrieving casualties, the main effort is still in the process of rendezvous with other SAF and AFP elements.