Five persons were killed and several others were wounded during a “mystery-enshrouded” shootout last Wednesday evening between agents of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) along Commonwealth Ave., QC.
Sources said the altercation was an offshoot of “uncoordinated” anti-drug operations being conducted simultaneously by the PDEA and the QCPD in the vicinity of the Ever Gotesco mall and Barangay Matandang Balara.
During a press briefing in Camp Crame the very next day to shed light on the bloody altercation, concerned QCPD and PDEA officials, who insisted their respective activities were legitimate, ended up making a spectacle of themselves by providing reporters with motherhood statements, refusing to divulge the specifics that were being demanded – thus leaving more questions than answers.
What was utterly unforgivable was the fact that they could not say with some degree of clarity how much drugs was involved, were there any drug dealers apprehended, how and why did the shooting start, etc., which are the basic questions usually asked by the media.
They said a joint PNP-PDEA team has been formed to investigate the unfortunate incident, but this wasn’t enough for Justice Sec. Menardo Guevara as he directed the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a parallel probe to prevent a whitewash.
“This is the saddest day in the history of drug law enforcement,” Philippine National Police chief Debold Sinas amd PDEA director Wilkins Villanueva said.
Killed were two QCPD men, one PDEA operative and a PDEA civilian informer.
Leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives have vowed to undertake separate probes of their own to get to the bottom of things.
“Hopefully the heads of the PDEA and PNP will be more forthright by then,” according to Sen. Panfilo Lacson. “Because we will be wringing their necks to get at the truth.”