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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Drug lords, ‘pols’, behind ambush of agents–PDEA

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Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director general Aaron Aquino believes that drug traders and even politicians may be responsible for the killing of five of their agents in Lanao del Sur.

He said that the deaths of agents Kenneth Tabulo, Kristine Mae Torlao, Lores Joy Amar, Binzo Dipollo and Diobel Pacinio could have been work-related.

Another agent—Rachel Gentapanan and a civilian—Normina Dicay—were wounded during the ambush.

Aquino said the attack on the five PDEA agents could not be the handiwork of terrorists since the victims’ high-powered firearms and personal belongings were left untouched/

In a radio interview, Aquino said one of two drug syndicates operating within the area could be responsible to the crime.

“We already have the names of the primary suspects. Actually, more or less, 10 persons could have attacked them [agents],” he said.

Five to six persons of interest, including several politicians, are being investigated, he added.

The victims had come from anti-drug symposium in Tagoloan II town in Lanao del Sur when armed men attacked them in Kapai town last Oct. 5.

A police vehicle tailing the victims’ van at the time of the incident sped past and overtook the agents’ van “without even any coordination” two minutes before the attack, Aquino said.

He said the Philippine National Police is investigating the possible involvement of the police officers who volunteered to escort the PDEA agents.

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