QCPD, PDEA welcome NBI filing of charges over February shootout

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug
Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Tuesday both welcomed the National Bureau
of Investigation’s (NBI) move to file charges against their members
who were involved in a shootout at a parking lot of a mall in Quezon
City in February.

In a statement, PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, also thanked the
NBI for its painstaking work on the incident.

“All the PNP personnel involved are fully accounted for and would be
made available should the Department of Justice (DOJ) require their
participation in the conduct of its own review with regard to the
findings submitted by the NBI,” Eleazar said.

Eleazar added that the PNP Internal Affairs Service is already
finalizing the result of its own investigation in relation to the
administrative cases that were filed against the police personnel
involved in the incident.

Eleazar said the PNP will continue to cooperate with the DOJ regarding the case.

“While the February 24 incident in Quezon City involving PDEA agents
and PNP personnel was indeed unfortunate and tragic, this also paved
the way for the identification of the gray areas in the coordination
protocol and subsequent outlining of improvements and
institutionalization of measures to prevent the repeat of the incident
through the Memorandum Circular, entitled Unified Coordination
Guidelines in the Conduct of Anti-Illegal Drugs Operations, that was
signed by the Chief PNP and the PDEA Director General (Wilkins
Villanueva) last July,” he added.

Eleazar said the PNP is committed to honoring and institutionalizing
the PDEA-PNP memorandum circular signed in July, which is aimed at
forging stronger cooperation between the two agencies in pursuing the
government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.

PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva, meanwhile, said the agency
will fully cooperate with the legal process and exhaust all legal
remedies available relative to the filing of cases against the PNP.

In a statement, Villanueva said the filing of cases against erring
police officers and anti-narcotics agents is an opportunity for them
to answer all allegations.

“This also allows the legal process to ensure and ultimately determine
the accountability of those involved and eventually obtain justice,”
he added.

Last June 29, PDEA filed separate charges against the members of the
PNP who were involved in the incident.

Villanueva assured the public that this will not hinder the national
anti-drug campaign.

On Monday, the NBI filed various charges against members of PDEA and
the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).

In a statement, the Office of the Prosecutor of General said the
charges filed before the Special Cases Division were for homicide,
attempted homicide, direct assault, robbery, falsification of
documents, and conniving or consenting to evasion.

The incident was initially declared as a misencounter but later turned
out to be a botched anti-drug operation allegedly due to
non-coordination between the QCPD and PDEA.

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