The National Bureau of Investigation has formed a team to probe Wednesday’s shootout between members of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Quezon City that left at least four dead.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the team will be led by NBI deputy director Antonio Pagatpat.
The probe team will consist of agents from the bureau’s investigation, intelligence, and forensic divisions.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday night met with PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas and PDEA Director-General Wilkins Villanueva to reiterate his order that the NBI will be the sole agency to look into the shootout.
“The President personally told PDEA chief Villanueva and PNP chief Sinas to discontinue their joint investigation of the shootout incident,” Guevarra said.
“I requested that both the PDEA and the PNP be directed to extend their full cooperation to the NBI,” he added.
Heeding the President’s directive, the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs will temporarily suspend its probe of the bloody shootout, its chairman Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said.
In a text message to reporters, Barbers said the temporary suspension was done “as a courtesy to and in order not to hinder the ongoing investigation” by the NBI.