When 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos were slaughtered exactly two years ago tomorrow, the whole nation grieved with their families. The incident was dubbed the ‘SAF 44’ in honor of the fallen soldiers. Until now, the cause of the massacre remains a mystery to the public.
President Duterte recently revealed something surprising about the operation today, January 24, 2017. He claims that it was the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency who organized the operation which turned into a tragedy, claiming the lives of a total of 60 people; 44 of which were SAF commandos.
In a speech before the families of the slain officers, he addressed the former president, Benigno Aquino III, and the former Philippine National Police Chief, Alan Purisima, saying: "Bakit ninyo tinago na iyon was an operation of the CIA?"
"Let it [be] brought out in the open. It was an American adventure with the cooperation of some with your blessing," he added.
Despite the tragic outcome, the operation was still able to achieve one of its objectives – to execute one of the most notorious Malaysian terrorists, Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan. He was known to be an improvised explosives expert and had a 5-million-dollar bounty on his head.
His finger was cut off by the commandos to send to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation so that it could be DNA tested and identified. It was later confirmed that it was Marwan who died from the encounter.
However, some netizens weren't too convinced that the CIA was behind the infamous ‘SAF 44’ and accused the Duterte administration to be diverting the public’s attention from the Korean national who was kidnapped and murdered by the police inside Camp Crame itself.
One netizen even commented: “Oh bakit ung KOreanong napatay sa mismong LOOB ng KRAME mas nakakahiya.. Di naman yan maiiwasan sa trabaho ng isang sundalo.. Pero ung papatay sila sa loob ng Crame tingin mo ok lang?”
Some also brought up the issue of the rampant extrajudicial killings in Duterte’s war on drugs. One netizen commented: "Si pnoy po ba at ang past govt ang pumatay sa saf44? Legitimate operation po yon, na nagkataon, talo tayo... Yun pong nangyayaring pagpatay sa mga inosenteng tao na nadadamay sa kampanya niyo sa droga , yung sinasabi niyong collateral damage ang dapat imbistigahan, yung pinatay na korean sa loob mismo ng crame na gawa ng mga pulis niyo ang dapat niyong harapin... Huwag niyo ilihis ang issue sa iba."
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