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  • FEBRUARY 2015 Vol. 4 No. 2

    Gallant 44: WE SALUTE YOU!


    President B.S. Aquino III. “The buck stops here” Suspended and resigned PNP Chief A. Purisima. “Pakialamero,” says Miriam Santiago.

    SAF Commander Getulio Napeñas. Scapegoat?

    A WEB OF LIES, A LITANY OF DENI- ALS, in the aftermath of that deadly clash in Mamansapano, Maguinda- nao where 44 young elite police troopers belonging to the Special Armed Forces (SAF) of Philippine National Police (PNP) brutally lost their lives, begins to unfold as inves- tigations by both the senate and the house of representatives also heard stories of blunders, miscalculations, and distrust among military and government officials.

    A furious former president Fidel V. Ramos, himself a former chief of the

    Philippine Constabulary Integrated national Police (PC/INP) ,the pre- cursor of the present PNP has lam- basted President B.S. Aquino for “lacking the resolve to deal with the botched operation that resulted in the death of 44 police commandos”.

    He also urged President Aquino, as commander in chief, to take respon- sibility for the whole incident at the same time putting to a stop the blaming and finger pointing.

    He singled out SAF commander Napenas as a “fall guy” for taking the blame all by himself when he said the responsibility “takes us all to the way up”.

    (Continued on page 3)

    Mamasapano massacre

    of 44 SAF commandos

    By waves news staff

    MANILA, Philippines–Former President Fidel V. Ramos on Saturday criticized the Aquino administration for hemming and hawing in the aftermath of the Jan. 25 clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, where 44 police commandos were


    “You must balance your actions with hot pursuit, this is law enforcement with peacemaking,” Ramos said in a

    (Continued on page 3)

    Aquino hemming and hawing—Ramos Erika Sauler, Philippine Daily Inquirer

    Former President Fidel V. Ramos removes his Barong to show his shirt with SAF seal

    during the Battle of Manila anniversary held in Intramuros , Manila. JOAN BONDOC

    “I am the father of the nation and 44 of my sons were killed. We can’t

    turn back the hands of time, the tragedy happened under my term; I

    will carry this burden up to the last days of my life. They were my

    responsibility, together with the entire Special Action Force, in this

    operation, including those who extricated them and who put their lives

    in danger.”- President Benigno S. Aquino III

    Panahon na para magsaya!


    May 30, 2015 Hamilton Convention Centre

    1st Elimination Rounds Saturday, MARCH 14, 2015

    Hamilton Filipino Comm. Centre Sunday, MARCH 15, 2015

    Living Words Ministries Church

  • February 2015 2

    Waves Filipinos Making News

  • February 2015 3

    Waves Filipinos Making News Manila Feedback

    SAF 44’s ‘last man standing’ laid to rest

    Fernan Gianan

    VIRAC, Catanduanes- Senior Inspector Max Jim Ramirez Tria was so low profile that he did not want to introduce himself as a police officer, according to his best friend Paulo Sixto Landig.

    And in true Tria fashion, the slain “last man standing” of the Mamasapano encounter in Maguindanao was laid to rest at noon Satur- day in an out-of-the-way corner of the Palta Catholic Cemetery in this town that had to be cleared of vegetation.

    Around 2,000 people attended the funeral rites for Tria, 27, who was among the 44 Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) troopers killed last January 25.

    Among them were members of the media, who were asked by his family as well as Tria’s batchmates at the PNP Academy (PNPA) not to take photographs and videos of the last viewing of the casket at the small chapel at the cemetery.

    Only the loud sobs of his mother, Efigenia, broke the silence of the hushed crowd as the rest of the family gathered beside the coffin.

    The PNP marching band, brought in from the mainland headquarters of the Bicol police in Legazpi City, played taps after a squad of po- licemen fired their rifles during the 21-gun salute.

    Also present during the Mass presided by Bishop Manolo de los Santos were Rep. Cesar Sarmiento; Chief Supt. Victor Deona, Bicol police director; Chief Supt. Ignacio Panti, di- rector of Bureau of Jail and Management Pe- nology in Bicol; several mayors and Provin- cial Board members.

    There were no high-ranking representatives from Malacan ang or the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

    According to a source, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas sent a wreath of flowers during the wake while a member of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) of Malacan ang also delivered a wreath from President Benigno Aquino III.

    The elder Tria initially refused to have the President’s wreath placed at the entrance of the house as per protocol but relented after the PMS staffer explained she was just fol- lowing orders. Among the wreaths brought to the burial site, the Roxas wreath was placed at the back behind the others while the presidential wreath was nowhere to be seen.

    The Tria family wanted the funeral to stay as private as possible. That same privacy was requested by Tria’s father, Senior Insp. Guillermo Tria Jr., who heads the internal affairs service (IAS) unit of the PNP in Catanduanes, during the week-long wake at the family residence at Barangay Cabihian, some 10 km from the town center of Virac.

    Landig, whose friendship with Tria, known as Mac-Mac to family and friends, started in elementary and blossomed during high school at the Catanduanes State University, said during the necrological rites that the slain police officer might have been low- profile in life but he leaves as a hero not only in his province but in the entire nation.

    Landig recalled that last May 2014, during

    one of the nights that he, Tria and fellow best friend Michael Valderrama met in the latter’s condo unit in Metro Manila, Mac-Mac ex- pressed his thought of the worst that an ene- my could do to him.

    “Hindi ako magpapahuli ng buhay. Hahawak ako ng dalawang granada. Tingnan ko kung makalapit pa sila (They will not capture me alive. I will hold two grenades. Let me see if they could still come near),” Tria told him.

    Landig said Tria apparently sacrificed his life the way he wanted, as he had been found with grenades in each hand, the “last man gunned down by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Moro Islamic Libera- tion Front (MILF) rebels.”

    Tria’s classmates at PNPA and SAF, who spoke of his courage and concern for his fel- low troopers, asked for justice for Tria and the rest of the SAF 44.

    “We hope we will get the justice we seek… also the truth,” they said.

    On behalf of the family, Tria’s eldest brother Ace William, paid tribute to his parents for being the true heroes in raising their sons to lead a simple, quiet but happy life.

    “Mac-Mac’s death shows that one does not need to be a star or a rich man to make his life relevant,” he said, expressing hope that his brother’s sacrifice would serve to inspire everyone, especially the youth. - Inquirer Southern Luzon

    Ramos helped established the SAF in 1983 which became one of the elite forces trained in the same fashion like the Vietnam-era US Special forc- es, the Green beret and the US Navy SEALs (Sea, Air Land) Special warfare group. Ra- mos is considered as the “Father of SAF”.

    The covert operation to ar- rest a high profile interna- tional terrorist named Zulkifli Bin Hir alias “Marwan”, a Ma- laysian expert bomb maker who carried a $5 million bounty for his arrest dead or alive, was codenamed “Oplan Wolverine” last year but was aborted twice.

    Finally, it was given the go- signal with the help of the United States who allegedly provided surveillance equip- ment such as “Drones” (pilot- less remote controlled small planes).

    It was it carried out in the early morning of January 25, under codename “Oplan Exo- dus”. The SAF commandos swooped on a house deep inside the Moro Islamic Liber- ation Front (MILF) and Bang- samoro Islamic freedom Fighters (BIFF) territory and camps in barangays Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

    Marwan was killed in gun- fight while his henchman and accomplish Abdul Basit Us- man was wounded but es- caped.

    Usman is a Malaysian born Filipino Muslim, a local bomb expert also carries a $3 mil-

    lion price on his head by the United States.

    On their exit, the SAF com- mandos ran into an ambush of almost 1,000 MILF and BIFF fighters who were alert- ed by the gunfire.

    The SAF troopers thus be- came sitting targets in the middle of a cornfield and a river from the volley of high- powered fire from all sides.

    A trending video that was later taken off the internet showed many of the 44 who died were mercilessly shot in the head, robbed of their be- longings and firearms.

    Some who sustained only mi- nor gunshot wounds in their arms or feet were finished off with shots to the head and various parts of the body, a clear violation of the Geneva convention and the existing ceasefire between the Philip- pine government and the MILF which is trying to forge a final peace agreement called the Bangsamoro Basic law (BBL) that aims to grant a Muslim self-government un- der