MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday condemned the killings of 5 Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency personnel and a judge in separate ambush incidents, saying these show the perils government workers face in the war on drugs.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to personally monitor the developments in the killing of 5 PDEA agents in Lanao del Sur last Friday.
“Inaatasan ng Pangulo ang pamunuan ng Philippine National Police na gawin ang lahat upang mahuli sa lalong madaling panahon ang mga taong may kinalaman sa karumal-dumal na krimen na ito,” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
(The President has ordered the Philippine National Police to do everything to arrest those behind these crimes.)
“Ang mga ganitong pagpatay ay mariin naming kenokondena. Ang mga ito ay patunay na totoo ang panganib na kinahaharap ng ating mga awtoridad sa pagsugpo sa ipinagbabawal na gamot. These deaths attest that the drug war is real.”
(We condemn these killings. These prove the dangers being faced by law enforcement authorities in ending the drug trade. These deaths attest that the drug war is real.)
The PDEA agents were on board a van on their way to Marawi City when there were waylaid by a still unidentified number of suspects.
The fatalities were identified as Kenneth Tabulo, Kristine Mae Torlao, Lores Joy Amar, and Binzo Dipolla, who were declared dead upon arrival at the hospital, and Diobel Pacinio, who died while undergoing treatment. Three of the slain agents were fresh graduates from the PDEA academy.
Meanwhile, Judge Edmundo Pintac of Ozamiz City Regional Trial Court Branch 15 was on his way home in Barangay Banadero when he was shot dead by 4 motorcycle-riding men.
Pintac handled drug charges against Ozamiz City Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog, who was arrested after a 2017 police raid in the properties of her family.
Nova Princess’ father, Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, who was on the narco-list of President Rodrigo Duterte, and 14 others, were killed during the raid.