QC lawmaker seeks House probe on PNP – PDEA shootout
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker wants the House of Representatives to investigate the shooting incident between agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) that transpired in Quezon City, leaving two police officers dead and four others injured.
In a statement on Thursday, Quezon City 2nd District Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo said that she will file a resolution to call for an investigation and that her proposed inquiry in aid of legislation will focus on “the adequacy or inadequacy” of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Castelo cited a provision of the law stating that the PDEA “shall be the lead agency in the enforcement of the Act, while the PNP, NBI and other law enforcement agencies shall continue to conduct anti-drug operations in support of the PDEA, provided that the said agencies shall, as far as practicable, coordinate with the PDEA prior to anti-drug operations.”
“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?” Castelo 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,” the lawmaker also said, adding that the incident, as well as the deaths and injuries, were “totally preventable.”
PDEA’s Special Enforcement Service (SES) agents and the Quezon City Police District’s (QCPD) Special Operations Unit (DSOU) figured in the deadly shootout Wednesday night that stemmed from a buy-bust operation in a mall along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City’s second district.
PDEA spokesman and director Derrick Carreon said that its agents were conducting a “legitimate operation” when the incident happened.
Metro Manila police chief Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. later described the gunfight as a misencounter.
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