Skip to main content

4 senior AFP officers to face court martial over deadly Basilan clash

Four senior military officials will face court martial proceedings for the Oct. 18 operation against Moro rebels in Al Barka town, Basilan, that left 19 soldiers dead and 14 others injured.

Retired Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Oban issued the order days before he bowed out of military service, according to military spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos.

The order was based on the recommendation of the Court of Inquiry (COI) that looked into the botched operation of the Army’s Special Forces.

“The chief of staff has acted on it, has approved the recommendation of the Court of Inquiry last weekend. The recommendation is for four senior officers to be subjected to court martial proceedings,” Burgos said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

Burgos withheld the name of the four officers “pending formal official notification” of the development. He said the military leadership will make sure that the four officers “will be made available for the proceedings.”

Two officers — Col. Alexander Macario, former commander of Special Operations Task Force Basilan; and Lt. Col. Leo Peña, commanding officer of the 4th Special Forces Battalion — were immediately relieved following the bungled operation.

As of posting time, GMA News Online has yet to confirm if they were among the four who would stand to face trial.

The encounter undermined the ongoing peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and had even prompted several sectors to call for its termination. The Aquino administration, however, proceeded with the negotiations.

Oban formed the COI last month to look into the culpability or liability of military personnel in the operation based on the recommendation of the Board of Inquiry, which initially looked into the incident.

Oban, who retired from the military on Tuesday, has already been replaced by Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa as chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. — KBK, GMA News
December 13, 2011 4:43pm


More Philippine Defense News

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

No reduction in AFP manpower size

THERE will be no reduction in the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when it implements the streamlining of commands by 2013, a senior officer told the Manila Standard in an exclusive interview.
“Under the Force Structure Review, there will be streamlining of units but this does not mean reduction in terms of the number of soldiers. In fact, the FSR calls for more recruits in the future,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.
At present, the military has a total of 125,000 soldiers, of which almost 85,000 are in the Army and the rest in the Navy-Marines and Air Force.
The FSR calls for an in-depth study of the AFP history in reference to pertinent laws of the land in conjunction with the challenges of internal and external defense.
The study also calls for the establishment of a strategic command that will focus on external defense where the main force would be the Air Force and Navy.
On instructions of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former military ch…

Philippine Armored Vehicles with ad-hoc wood slat armor

While searching for Philippine armored vehicles for the updates being done for both the blog and the Facebook page I chanced upon images of Philippine Army and Marine armor assets covered with thick wood planks as slat armor for protection from rocket propelled grenades. This caught the eyes of Popular Mechanics who published an article last June 8th just for this subject.

According to the article,
Wood armor on armored vehicles won't save them from ISIS rockets. Not sure, I'll leave that to the actual reports from the Philippine Military in using wood as an ad hoc protection for rpg's, but yes this is only during emergencies. The Philippine Army and Philippine Marines should employ or use the real add-on armors currently in the market for armored vehicle protection. Or they could just simply buy new thicker-armored vehicles to be used for front-line operations and have the old vehicles to be used in secondary missions or as support vehicles.

Nonetheless the fast-thinkin…