Two cops dead in 'misencounter' near Quezon City mall

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 24) — Two policemen were killed during a shootout between members of the Quezon City Police District and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency near a mall in Quezon City on Wednesday.

The shootout followed a drug bust near the Ever Gotesco Mall along Commonwealth Avenue.

National Capital Region Police Office chief Brigadier General Vic Danao said two QCPD officers were killed and one was badly wounded. He added that three PDEA agents were also hospitalized.

Danao also said no civilians were harmed during the incident.

The NCRPO chief described the shootout as a "misencounter," adding this is not the first time such an "unfortunate" incident has happened.

The Philippine National Police and PDEA will create a joint body to investigate the shootout.

"PNP Chief, Police General Debold Sinas, appointed the CIDG as the lead investigating body while the RD, NCRPO has been designated to speak on any updates from the PNP in order to keep the public updated with accurate and relevant information," the PNP said in a statement.

"The PNP and PDEA both agree and assure the public that the incident, while serious, will in no way affect the continuing operational relationship and coordination they have long firmed up in the fight against illegal drugs," it added.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a parallel investigation into the alleged "misencounter" between the police and PDEA agents. This will be separate from the joint PNP-PDEA investigation body announced by Sinas.

The mall management said it immediately secured all access points to the building to ensure the safety of shoppers.

"The management is closely coordinating with the PNP (Philippine National Police)," Ever Gotesco said in a Facebook post.

Meanwhile, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte asked residents to avoid posting online any unverified information regarding the incident.