Sep 152014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/01/06MANILA364.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA364
2006-01-26 08:08
2011-08-30 01:44
SECRET//NOFORN
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO2592
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0364/01 0260808
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 260808Z JAN 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8833
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUCNFB/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 MANILA 000364

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MLS, INR/EAP, INR/TNC, S/CT
NSC FOR H. MORROW

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/26/2016
TAGS: PGOV MOPS PINS PTER PREL PHUM RP
SUBJECT: DISCREPANCIES IN OFFICIAL CASUALTY FIGURES HIGHLIGHT DEFICIENCIES IN GRP INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM

Classified By: Acting Pol/C Joseph L. Novak for
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (S/NF) Summary: A total of 2,838 persons were killed in
calendar year 2005 during encounters between the Armed Forces
of the Philippines (AFP) and insurgents/terrorists. The
majority (2,268) of these casualties were AFP soldiers (458)
and NPA members (1,810), according to AFP statistics recently
released to the press. The National Security Council, the
Anti-Terrorism Task Force, and the police all have different
sets of data that do not match up with each other. Due to a
lack of data from past years, it is unclear whether these GRP
agencies’ figures represent an uptick or not, but there was
no sense from interlocutors that there had been large spikes
comparatively. Underlying the discrepancies are the lack of
professionalized GRP intelligence services and a
comprehensive automated database on terrorism, among other
problems. End Summary.

————————————
AFP Body Count Released to the Press
————————————

¶2. (U) According to AFP statistics released to the press on
December 30, 2005, a total of 2,838 persons were killed in
calendar year 2005 during 1,455 encounters between the AFP
and insurgents/terrorists. The majority of these encounters
— 1,255 or 86 percent — were between the AFP and New
People’s Army (NPA) with the remainder involving the Abu
Sayyaf Group (ASG)-123; the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF)-151; and the Misuari Breakaway Group (MBG)-26. A
breakdown of casualties follows: NPA-1810; AFP-723; ASG-171;
MILF-118; and MBG-16.

¶3. (SBU) The AFP said it suffered the greatest number of
casualties (458) against the NPA, followed by 181 against the
ASG, 68 against the MBG, and 16 against the MILF. The most
deadly incident was a NPA land mine explosion on November 19,
2005, that left 9 soldiers dead and 20 others wounded.

———————
The View from the NSC
———————

¶4. (S/NF) The Director of the Office of Security Policy at
the National Security Council (NSC), Carmina B. Acuna, told
poloff on January 5 that the military statistics reported by
the press on December 30 were released by AFP-Operations
(J3). According to Acuna, NSC internal documents usually
cite figures from AFP-Intelligence (J2) and the National
Coordinating Intelligence Agency (NICA) rather than AFP-J3
because these numbers were considered more carefully vetted.

¶5. (S/NF) Based on NSC data, there were a total of 483
fatalities from 830 encounters between GRP military/security
forces and the NPA as of mid-December 2005. The NSC
breakdown follows: AFP/police/paramilitary-193,
civilian-144, and NPA/CPP-146. No data regarding GRP
security force encounters with the ASG, MILF, and MBG were
provided by Acuna. Acuna noted that — although the NSC’s
casualty figures for calendar year 2005 would increase after
data for the last two weeks of December was included — the
NSC’s final tally would be far lower than the AFP numbers
that appeared in the press relative to the NPA insurgency.

——————————
Anti-Terrorism Task Force Data
——————————

¶6. (S/NF) Undersecretary Ricardo R. Blancaflor, who is
Director for Legal, Public Information and Advocacy at the
GRP’s Anti-Terrorism Task Force, informed poloff on January 9
that the ATTF was the central operational coordinating and
policy body for the GRP’s campaign against terrorism, but not
a central clearinghouse for official statistics regarding all
insurgency/terrorist incidents. For example, the ATTF
focuses on Muslim terrorist groups, such as the ASG and
Jemaah Islamiya, and not the NPA insurgency.

¶7. (C) According to the “Scorecard of the ATTF” that is
contained in its year-end report for 2005, a total of 32 ASG
members were killed in incidents as of December 27, 2005. No

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other casualty figures were listed. The scorecard also
reflected that 159 terrorists were arrested, captured or
surrendered as of December 27. The breakdown follows:
ASG-134; suspected foreign nationals-10; other suspected
terrorists-8, JI-4; and Rajah Solaiman Movement-3.

————–
PNP Statistics
————–

¶8. (S/NF) On January 11, Police Superintendent Dionardo B.
Carlos from the PNP Office of the Secretariat, National
Anti-Crime Task Force, provided poloff with data regarding
NPA-related incidents. According to Carlos, there were a
total of 350 casualties during 472 incidents in calendar year
¶2005. A total of 179 of these incidents were GRP initiated
while the remaining 293 incidents were NPA initiated. The
PNP breakdown of casualties for 2005 follows: NPA-124,
AFP-94, civilians-88, PNP-30, and paramilitary-14. No data
were provided for the ASG, JI, MILF, MBG, or RSM.

————————
Explaining Discrepancies
————————

¶9. (S/NF) In explaining the wide discrepancies over how GRP
agencies collect and correlate data, Acuna of the NSC
commented that there were shortcomings in the GRP’s
intelligence system such as inadequate data-sharing and
validation among military/security agencies. Echoing Acuna’s
comments, Blancaflor of the ATTF acknowledged shortcomings in
the GRP’s intelligence system such as: inadequate
information sharing, coordination, and validation; the lack
of automated databases with photos; insufficient manpower and
resources; and the difficulty in classifying an individual as
a “member” of a terrorist organization as opposed to a
“supporter,” sympathizer,” or “associate” partly due to the
lack of consensus among GRP officials as to the meaning of
these terms. According to the PNP’s Carlos, the removal of
dead bodies by insurgents/terrorists from encounter sites and
lack of access by PNP personnel to some remote sites where
encounters occurred have made identification/validation of
casualties very difficult for the PNP.

¶10. (S/NF) To address some of these problems, Blancaflor
emphasized the need for speedy passage of anti-terrorism
legislation. He also recommended the creation of an
Anti-Terrorism Council that could function as the central
clearinghouse for all data regarding terrorism. (Note: Both
the House and Senate versions of proposed anti-terrorism
legislation contain provisions for the creation of an
Anti-Terrorism Council that would have the mandate to
establish a comprehensive database on terrorism. End Note.)

——-
Comment
——-

¶11. (S/NF) Tracking the casualties in the GRP’s campaign
against insurgents/terrorists is clearly not an exact
science. Due to a lack of data from past years, it is
unclear whether these GRP agencies’ figures represent an
uptick or not, but there was no sense from interlocutors that
there had been large spikes comparatively. (Note: Mission
continues to try to obtain data on casualties from past years
from the GRP, but information received so far is patchy. End
Note.) As noted, underlying the discrepancies are the lack
of professionalized GRP intelligence services and a
comprehensive automated database on terrorism, among other
problems. Critical to the future success of GRP
counter-insurgency/terrorism efforts are the development of
professionalized, technologically equipped, and well
coordinated intelligence services that are able to command
facts at their fingertips.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/

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Jones

   

 

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