House probe sought in QC shootout between police, drug agents

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 25 2021 02:08 PM

Members of the PNP Scene of the Crime Operatives investigate the scene of a shootout between police and PDEA operatives, February 24, 2021. Two PNP officers died, while three PDEA agents and another police officer are currently in hospital for wounds they sustained in the incident. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News


MANILA— Two lawmakers on Thursday called for a legislative inquiry into the shootout between members of the Philippine National Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Quezon City Wednesday night.

The PNP tallied 2 fatalities and an injury, while 3 PDEA operatives were also wounded in the "misencounter" between the two law enforcement agencies, said Metro Manila police chief Police Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr.

The House committee on dangerous drugs wants to investigate the incident following the panel's approval on second reading of proposed amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, said its chair Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Ace Barbers.

“The presence of high-ranking police officers in this alleged uncoordinated buy-bust is another suspicious angle that we want to investigate. This adds to the irregularity in the total scenario," he said in a statement.

"On the other hand, news footage showing several PDEA agents in uniform taking positions during the early stages of the fight seems to show a prepared operation. These things will have to be clarified in order for us to introduce proper legislation."

Quezon City 2nd District Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo also said she would file a resolution calling for an investigation which would focus “on the adequacy or inadequacy" of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, the law against illegal drugs.

“Is the provision on coordination clear enough for our law enforcers to avoid incidents such as what happened in my district on Wednesday? Does Congress have to make it clearer by, for instance, requiring agencies to disclose the details of their intended anti-drug operations?” she said.

“So why the misencounter? Were the two groups unaware that they would operate in the same area or place? And why did it take so long to stop the gunfight if there was prior coordination? These are additional questions we would like answered."

— Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

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