The fatalities from the shootout between the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has doubled to 4, as authorities confirmed that two other people were killed during the incident.
In a press briefing on Thursday, February 25, PDEA chief Director General Wilkins Villanueva announced that their agent and an informant were also killed in the shooting near Ever Gotesco mall in Quezon City the day before.
The PNP earlier announced that two of their anti-drug agents were killed.
The PDEA said that two of their agents were in critical condition but were already stable. The PNP counted one of its agents as injured from the shooting.
The shooting incident marked the first field clash between the PNP and PDEA – the lead agencies in President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs.
The misencounter happened between members of the Quezon City Police District's District Special Operations Unit and PDEA's Special Enforcement Service – both assigned to conduct special operations that are above the usual patrols.
During the press briefing, the PDEA and the PNP refused to divulge information about the botched operation, but insisted that both of their teams followed procedures.
Both agencies also vowed to file complaints against erring operatives by the end of the probe.
"Kung sino ang tatamaan, tatamaan dito. Ito ay aming iaalay sa mga namatay sa amin (Whoever gets implicated, will get implicated here. We will offer this to our fallen)," said Villanueva. – Rappler.com
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.