CITING the need for impartiality, President Rodrigo Duterte hinted at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as the only agency sanctioned to dig deeper into the deadly shootout between police operatives and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), says presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.
“The President decided that only the NBI will investigate the shooting between the police and PDEA in Quezon City,” Roque said in a video message.
Duterte, he added, has also dissolved the joint investigative panel that was created by both the PNP and PDEA a day after the bloody incident that resulted in the death of four persons and injuring six others.
“The joint panel formed to investigate, composed of PNP and PDEA, will no longer push through with their investigation,” continued Roque.
NBI is a separate agency under the Department of Justice, and has always been at the forefront of investigation on sensational and high-profile cases.
Citing NBI’s legal mandate, Roque said that the President just wanted to make sure that results of the probe would not be leaning on one side.
“This is to ensure impartiality on the Quezon City shootout incident,” the Palace spokesperson further averred.
Roque earlier claimed that the President felt sad after hearing the news of the shootout.
Four people were killed in the shootout near Ever Gotesco mall along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. Of the four casualties, two were cops, a PDEA agent and their informant. The incident is believed to be a bungled drug operation that may have involved the illegal practice of “sell bust,” or law enforcers pretending to be drug peddlers in order to catch buyers.
As of this posting, 10 members of the Quezon City Police District and seven PDEA agents have been restricted to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.