House defers probe on PNP-PDEA shootout
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives’ investigation on the shootout involving operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Philippine National Police (PNP) scheduled on Monday,March 1 has been suspended, Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers announced Saturday.
In a message to reporters, Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, said the suspension was in light of President Rodrigo Duterte’s order that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will be the sole agency to probe the clash.
“Please be advised that in light of [President Duterte’s] instruction to the NBI to conduct an impartial investigation on the PNP and PDEA incident, our scheduled Committee hearing/investigation in aid of legislation on Monday, March 1, 2021, is temporarily suspended as a courtesy to and in order not to hinder the ongoing investigation,” Barbers said.
Asked if the House panel will let the NBI’s investigation be done first before proceeding, Barbers answered in the affirmative.
“If we feel that our questions are not answered and we feel that there could be a legislation that we can proposed then we will proceed,” he said.
According to presidential spokesman Harry Roque, Duterte’s decision to task the NBI to investigate the matter was to “ensure impartiality.”
The PNP and PDEA earlier launched a joint inquiry into the shootout that left four persons dead, as well as four others injured.
The Senate panel on public order is likewise set to investigate the shootout on March 2.
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