Top officials of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency scrapped the ‘mis-encounter’ tag in the botched buy bust operation in Quezon City.
Police Gen. Debold Sinas, PNP chief, and PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva both stated that there was prior coordination before the fatal shooting incident took place near Ever Gotesco Mall.
“We’re not going to speculate on what happened. That is why we collected the cellphones of both parties, so we know where they’re coming from. We’re going to make an analytic investigation. As far as those cellphones are concerned, we still do not know what was happening at the time,” Villanueva said.
“What we can tell you is that both the PDEA and PNP were conducting legitimate operations…both of them were doing their jobs. So that’s what we’re working on. Right now, it’s too raw for us to be making a statement. Right now, we are mourning. We cannot tell who was doing what, because we don’t have the evidence. Give us time to process the evidence,” he added.
The shootout also left two police officers and one PDEA informant dead.
Officials said that ten police officers, and seven drug enforcement agents involved in the shootout are now “restricted” at the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Grou or CIDG.
Both officials urged the public to allow the investigation to take its course.
They also refused to name the target of the said buy bust.
“Don’t worry. We won’t cover for our people. This is why we’re doing this jointly. If we side with our people, the situation might just get worse. We’re here to harmonize our solid relationship. This incident was a very unfortunate one. It happens, and that’s why we have to investigate,” he said. (TDT)