MANILA— The death count in the shootout between police and anti-narcotics operatives in Quezon City on Wednesday has risen to 4, with an agent and informant of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency also confirmed killed on top of two police officers earlier reported dead.
PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva confirmed this Thursday in a joint press conference with the PNP, where questions on how the gunfight happened remained unanswered.
Villanueva vowed his agency's cooperation in the investigation regarding the incident.
"What happened... last night, 'yan ang main focus ng ating inquiry at dito tayo medyo careful dahil gusto natin talaga makuha ang nangyari," he said.
(What happened last night, that's the main focus of our inquiry and here, we have to be careful, we want to get what really happened.)
Police Chief Gen. Debold Sinas, meanwhile, said those involved in the shootout would be held accountable.
The shootout on Wednesday night happened near a mall Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, sending people scampering for safety while halting traffic on the busy thoroughfare.
The Department of Justice earlier ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a parallel investigation on the supposed "misencounter" between police and anti-narcotics agents.
As to ties between the two agencies in the wake of the encounter, Villanueva said the two organizations are now closer.
"As far as relationship of PNP and PDEA is concerned, ladies and gentlemen, mas lumakas po kami. Mas naging dikit po kami ngayon. Dahil dati hindi kami nag-uusap, ngayon sobrang pag-uusap namin," he said.
(As far as relationship of PNP and PDEA is concerned, ladies and gentlemen, we're stronger. We're closer now. Because before, we were not talking to each other, now we're talking often.)
Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed justice for those killed in the shootout, which involved two organizations leading his anti-drug campaign.
More details to follow.