Unidentified Caucasian killed in botched Philippine raid: Report

(From Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“Buddy, what happened to him again?”

The camera focused on the body of a man who looked like a Caucasian, his shaven head tilted to the right, right eye and mouth half-open, left eye completely shut.

Body of unidentified commando from Mamasapano raid; Philippine Daily Inquirer image

Body of unidentified commando from Mamasapano raid; Philippine Daily Inquirer image

He lay bloodied in the cornfield among dead commandos of the 55th Special Action Company (SAC) of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF).

The body appears in the first few minutes and the last few seconds of the nearly eight-minute video of the aftermath of the Mamasapano clash on Jan. 25, furnished to the Inquirer by a TV journalist who covered the investigation of the bloodbath.

That there were Americans among the SAF commandos who carried out the covert operation to take down Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,” was one of the most persistent rumors that circulated in Central Mindanao after the Mamasapano clash.

Forty-four SAF commandos lost their lives in the botched operation, but it was said that two Americans were also killed in the clash with Moro rebels, an allegation that was promptly denied by the US Embassy in Manila.

But the rumors persisted and weeks after the Mamasapano clash, the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines closed its mission in the country.

One of the dead was allegedly a “blue-eyed man.” The other was black and huge that he could not be carried on the gurney as his body was whisked away by his compatriots.

The video obtained by the TV journalist from a source from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was the first visual indication of foreign participation in the SAF operation to get Marwan.

Conversation

The TV journalist told the Inquirer that the conversation in the video was translated from the Maguindanaoan dialect into Filipino.

Curiously, every time the camera focused on the dead Caucasian, those who were taking the video would refer to him as “buddy.”

The following lines were said in Maguindanaoan:

“Nahirapan si buddy. Bakit ginanyan niyo?”

“Nakakaawa.”

“Nahirapan si buddy.”

Then the men shifted to English:

“Buddy, what happened to him again?”

The TV journalist said his source claimed that there were two men among the dead SAF who appeared to be Caucasians but only one of them appeared clearly in the video.

The video was graphic, showing most of the mangled bodies of the SAF commandos up close.

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