To say that we are inflamed by the shootout that took place Wednesday this week at the Ever Gotesco Mall between armed men of government agencies is a euphemism for our overwhelming indignation.
However we try to understand the situation, even in layman’s terms, we cannot fathom the logic of what senior police officers described as a legitimate operation being implemented by the Quezon City cops of the Philippine National Police and anti-drug agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
The bloody incident revealed the utter lack of coordination, a frightening fiasco beyond doubt, between armed men of the two government agencies which put at high risk the lives of shoppers at the mall along busy Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City who were caught inches off the bullets’ burning wheeze.
We understand President Rodrigo Duterte’s sadness and concern. He has ordered an investigation to get to the bottom of the incident, which he learned soon after his briefing with public officials Wednesday night.
The Department of Justice has also ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct its own inquiry, separate from the probes being considered by the House of Representatives and the Senate.
At this junction of the coronavirus pandemic, when vaccines are projected to be rolled out in this country before too long and plans to reopen the domestic economy gate, it is incumbent upon the authorities to shift to high gear and finish the investigation with slap speed.
At the same time, we need to be assured that police and the PDEA, important agencies in law enforcement to implement the law in the government’s anti-drugs campaign, are doing their best and are coordinating with each other always and at all times to protect the population against the drug danger.