"Unmask the culprits already."
It was good to hear that both the Senate and the House of Representatives agreed to defer their inquiries into the bloody shootout between Quezon City Police District operatives and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency agents last week.
The lawmakers must believe President Duterte intends to find out the bare truth behind the bungled “buy-bust” or entrapment operation that left two QCPD policemen and two PDEA agents dead outside the Ever Gotesco on Commonwealth Ave.
In asking Congress to defer to the National Bureau of Investigation to solely investigate and bring out the objective facts on the operations that should have been backed by surveillance and intelligence work, the President suspects they each must have known their targets were law enforcers involved in “recycling” seized illegal drugs.
When Philippine National Police Chief General Debold Sinas ordered a joint PNP-PDEA investigation on what National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) chief Maj. Gen. Vic Danao readily described as “misencounter,” it simply connoted a possible coverup or whitewash.
The public is tired of this hogwash. These incompetent officials should stop underestimating people’s intelligence in the digital age.
It could not have been one of the usual cases of “nanlaban” in which evidence is planted and the subject turns up dead clutching a rusty paltik revolver.
Whichever side was trying to “buy-bust” or “sell-bust” the other had to announce at one point they were cops; the other party must have done the same.
So, there should not have been an escalation. Instead, they ended up shooting each other.
How safe are we now when law enforcers engage in a 30-minute gunfight at a crowded fast food restaurant, three kilometers from Batasan Complex?
How safe are we when a uniformed Manila policeman gets abducted by armed men at his outpost in broad daylight, and has not been heard of since?
How safe are we when a police sergeant shoots dead his two neighbors, point blank, over a petty quarrel?
President Duterte would not want to be the last to know that certain police officials and law enforcers are still involved in Ninja operations which date back to the late 80s, when the illegal drugs trade flourished after the EDSA One uprising.
Back then, the country served as the transshipment point of illegal drugs for international drug syndicates 14K and Bamboo Gang en route to the United States, the subject of Drug Enforcement Administration in the country.
The late Senator Ernesto Herrera, who headed the Senate Committee on Narcotics, said nearly half of the country’s policemen were involved in illegal drug trafficking or were on the druglords’ payroll as protectors.
Herrera’s committee investigated cases similar to the recent QCPD-PDEA incident – shootings between corrupt Narcotics Command policemen and rogue military men over control of the spoils of a drug trade worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Former NBI director Alfredo Lim and former Manila police captain Reynaldo Jaylo led an ambitious anti-illegal drugs drive that killed drug kingpin Don Jose “Pepe” Oyson. The effort was short-lived.
Jaylo and several of his men were later indicted for the murder of three drug traffickers in an NBI-DEA buy-bust operation involving US$400,000 worth of heroin in Makati after those slain turned out to be ranking military officers.
With Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra overseeing NBI’s no-nonsense investigation of last Wednesday’s QCPD-PDEA bloody encounter, I am not going to be surprised if another can of worms is opened.
Unmask the culprits already.