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Duterte saddened by PNP-PDEA shootout, vows impartial probe

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was disheartened by the deadly shoot-out between the police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) personnel, according to Malacañang.

"The President expressed both sadness and concern, bakit nangyari nga ito na kapwa tao ng gobyerno ay nagkaputukan (that there should be a shoot-out between people who work in government)," Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said on Thursday, February 25.

Duterte first got word of the altercation on Wednesday night, as he was wrapping up his meeting with pandemic task force officials in Malacañang.

The President is determined to know the truth behind the bungled operation and what led the two agencies leading his drug war to point their guns at each other.

"His assurance was we will get to the bottom of this incident, there will be an impartial investigation, and justice will be done," said Roque.

The spokesman likened the incident to the altercation between the police and military in Jolo, Sulu in June 2020. Soldiers accused cops of gunning down army intelligence officers and then covering up the crime. Duterte pleaded for calm in a speech in front of military commanders in Zamboanga City.

In the Wednesday shootout, at least two policemen were killed, while a Batasan police station report said 3 cops, two PDEA agents, and one civilian identified as a companion of the PDEA agent were injured.

The PNP and PDEA have launched a joint probe into the gunfight. The House committee on dangerous drugs also said it would investigate. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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