The 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) who died in the Mamasapano clash on Jan. 25 in Maguindanao suffered a total of 150 gunshot wounds, the final autopsy report from the PNP’s Board of Inquiry revealed, GMA News reported.
Of the Fallen 44, 29 suffered gunshot wounds to the head. Four bore gunshot wounds on the chest and three on the neck.
One of the commandos, Sr. Insp. Ryan Pabalinas, who was reported to have radioed for reinforcement during the clash, suffered the most gunshot wounds. He had a total of 16 – on the head, lower jaw, neck, trunk and extremities.
Pabalinas was a member of 55th Special Action Company who figured in a bloody encounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front while trying to serve as a blocking force for the SAF team that neutralized terrorist Marwan.
Meanwhile, the autopsy also showed that one of the cadavers had “smudging/tattoing.”
In the said GMA News report, Dr. Erwin Erfe, head of the Forensics Department of the Public Attorney’s Office, explained that smudging occurs when a shot was fired within 24 to 48 inches or even less.
The report also stated that of the 44 SAF commandos, only 33 were found positive for gunpowder nitrates during the paraffin test. However, Erfe explained that such finding does not mean that the 11 police officers were not able to use their firearms during the clash.
“Kung meron ding water especially running water, mas mabilis na matanggal ang nitrates. Within a few hours, tanggal na ‘yun. Malakas ang hangin, maraming elements dito. Kapag ganoon, less than 24 hours lang siguro itatagal ng nitrates sa body,” he told GMA News.
The autopsy report also included photos of the SAF commandos before and after the Mamasapano incident. Most of them were almost unrecognizable after the clash.
Photos of procedures done, including taking of postmortem fingerprints, paraffin test, and labeling of the caskets of the fallen SAF officers were also included in the report.