Barbers: No PNP – PDEA shootout if there was proper coordination

By: Neil Arwin Mercado - Reporter / @NAMercadoINQ - Inquirer.net | February 26,2021 - 01:17 PM

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — The shootout between the operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) would not have happened if there was proper coordination, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said Friday.

Barbers, chairperson of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, stressed that the unfortunate incident would not have taken place if there was “strict compliance with the protocols.”

“Kagaya ng what is provided in Section 86… of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs [Act], it says that all anti-illegal drugs operation all over the country, ang lead agency will be PDEA and all other agencies, for that matter, that would conduct the same operation must strictly coordinate with PDEA,” Barbers said.

(For instance, what is provided in Section 86 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act where it says that in all anti-illegal drugs operation all over the country, the lead agency is PDEA. Then all other agencies, for that matter, that would conduct the same operation must strictly coordinate with PDEA.)

“So if there was a proper coordination, this incident would not have happened,” the lawmaker added.

In a press briefing on Thursday, both the PNP and PDEA insisted that there was proper coordination between the two agencies.

PDEA director general Wilkins Villanueva said that both the PDEA and PNP were on separate buy-bust missions which led to the “misencounter.”

“One thing I [can] tell you is that PDEA is doing a legitimate operation and police is doing a legitimate operation,” Villanueva said.

PNP spokesman Brigadier General Ildebrandi Usana has said that a board of inquiry will be formed to determine what happened and who should be liable for the incident.

The National Bureau of Investigation will likewise conduct its own probe on the incident, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

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TAGS: Barbers, House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, Pdea, PNP, proper coordination, shootout

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