2 buy-bust operations seen as scenario in QC gunfight between PDEA, PNP
MANILA, Philippines—Two buy-bust operations.
This, according to the head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), was emerging as a scenario in the search for answers to the gunfight between PDEA agents and policemen in a Quezon City mall that killed four people.
Wilkins Villanueva, PDEA director general, said the PDEA and Philippine National Police (PNP) were on separate buy-bust missions which led to the “misencounter.”
“One thing I [can] tell you is that PDEA is doing a legitimate operation and police is doing a legitimate operation,” said Villanueva at a joint press briefing with the PNP.
He was asked about a “sell-bust” operation involving undercover PDEA agents posing as sellers to arrest drug suspects and he said it was illegal.
“That’s not legal. What’s only legal is the drug operation,” he said.
Pressed further if the PNP and PDEA board of inquiry was looking into the sell-bust angle, Villanueva said referring to media: “This is what I’ve been saying. You immediately did interviews.”
“Then one side said it’s buy-bust. What happens is we’re sell-bust immediately because we didn’t talk,” he said in Filipino.
“PNP is buy-bust. PDEA is buy-bust,” Villanueva said. “That’s why what we want is ‘wait, who between us is buy-bust. We are both buy-bust?”
A gunfight erupted between the PDEA’s Special Enforcement Service (SES) agents and the Quezon City Police District’s (QCPD) Special Operations Unit (DSOU) that stemmed from a buy-bust operation in a mall in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City.
Two policemen, a PDEA agent and a PDEA informant were killed while four others were wounded in the gunfight.
The PNP and PDEA vowed that charges will be filed against those at fault in the gunfight.
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