The Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Tuesday both welcomed the National Bureau of Investigation’s move to file charges against their members who figured in a firefight in Quezon City in February.
PNP chief, Guillermo Eleazar thanked the NBI for its painstaking work on the incident.
PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva, for his part, 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.
“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.
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).
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.