Duterte sad over PNP-PDEA 'misencounter,' wants fair probe on incident — Malacañang

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 25) — President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed "sadness and concern" over what appeared to be a misencounter between the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency that led to the death of two police officers in a mall in Quezon City.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this in his briefing on Thursday, a day after the shootout between members of the Quezon City Police District and PDEA during a drug bust near the Ever Gotesco Mall. Another police officer was injured and three PDEA agents were hospitalized following the incident.

READ: Two cops dead in 'misencounter' near Quezon City mall 

"The President, of course, expressed both sadness and concern. Bakit nangyari nga ito na kapwa tao ng gobyerno eh nagkaputukan (Why were these members of the government get involved in a shootout?)," said Roque.

Roque said Duterte wants an impartial investigation to get to the bottom of the incident, which he learned about right after his briefing with public officials on Wednesday evening.

"Ang in-assure niya, gaya nung assurance na ginawa niya noong nangyari ito sa Sulu, we will get to the bottom of this incident, magkakaroon po ng impartial investigation at justice will be done," he added.

[Translation: He assures, just like his assurance on the incident in Sulu, we will get to the bottom of this incident, there will be an impartial investigationa and justice will be done.]

Roque was referring to the fatal shooting of four soldiers by policemen in an operation in Jolo, Sulu in July 2020, an incident which Army Chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay described as a rubout when his men were "murdered."

Last month, the nine policemen who were involved in the Sulu shooting were dismissed from service.

The PNP and PDEA will create a joint body to look into Wednesday's shootout, while Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra already ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a parallel investigation into the incident.