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Pimentel tells military: Review strategy after 11 soldiers killed in airstrike

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Thursday urged the military to review its strategy against the Maute terror group, following the death of 11 soldiers in an airstrike by the government.

“Nagkamali po 'yun. That’s why the military should be reviewing their systems, their strategies, their tactics, plus the policy of airstrikes,” Pimentel told reporters in an interview.

“I-review po nila yan. Huwag masayado maniwala at naka-rely sa technology. Sabi nila, ipapasok lang daw coordinates, doon na tatama bomba. Double check. In reality, tama ba? Mag-ingat po tayo,” he said.

Defense and military officials said 11 soldiers were killed, while seven others were wounded when a military airstrike hit ground troops in Marawi City.

"It's sad but sometimes that happens, sometimes in fog of war. Maybe the coordination was not properly done so we hit our own people," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, for his part, said the military should make sure that such incident is not repeated.

In a statement, Trillanes said “it is tragic and unfortunate that it came at a time that the [Armed Forces of the Philippines] has almost won the war with the Mautes.”

“Regardless of the circumstances of their deaths, they are heroes. As to why this incident happened in the first place, I defer to the investigation of the AFP and hope that with it is an assurance that future mishaps like this would never happen again,” he added.

Senator JV EJercito said the military clearly needed “better equipment so this can be prevented.”

Senator Panfilo Lacson, former PNP chief, said the incident should not be used to find fault.

"On the contrary, this is the time to pray and honor all the heroes who lost their lives, no matter what caused their deaths," Lacson said.

"Having said that, we should allow the AFP and the defense establishment to accomplish their task, including the fact-finding investigation being conducted," he added. — MDM, GMA News