Both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conducted legitimate buy-bust operations, PDEA chief Wilkins Villanueva claimed Thursday.
“Ito nga ang sinasabi natin, eh, nag-interview na agad kayo. Tapos ang sabi doon sa isang banda, buy-bust sila. Ang mangyayari, sell-bust agad kami dahil hindi kami nagsalita,” Villanueva said in a joint PNP-PDEA press briefing.
The PDEA chief said sell-busts or posing to sell illegal drugs to arrest drug suspects are illegal.
“Kaya kami hindi nagsasalita nga because of this (joint PNP-PDEA) Board of Inquiry. Dahil wala nga sa pre-operation or sa anti-drug operation na sell bust dahil bawal ‘yan,” he said.
“So buy-bust ang PNP, buy-bust din ang PDEA. Kaya nga ito ang gusto natin… Sino bang buy-bust sa atin? Dahil buy-bust tayo pareho. Paano nangyari, and that’s what we want to find out,” he added.
Two policemen, one PDEA agent, and one informant were killed during the shootout between the PNP and PDEA on Wednesday at a fast food joint beside the Ever Gotesco Mall on Commonwealth Avenue.
Surigao del Norte Representative Robert Ace Barbers said separate claims of the PNP and PDEA that their operations are legitimate "are both highly-questionable.”
Villanueva said he is refraining from giving information or speaking on the incident as he would be pre-judging the PNP.
“Kawawa naman ‘yung namatay, eh. Kaya nga ‘yung sinasabi ko. Inaalay namin ito sa mga namatay. Para malaman natin kung sino talaga ang may actual, legitimate operation,” he said.
“And seemingly, both of us are claiming that we are legitimate. So walang sell-bust dito, parehong buy-bust ito,” he added.
During the press conference, Villanueva and PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas refused to give any details despite repeated questions from reporters saying they do not want to preempt the investigation being conducted by the Board of Inquiry.
PDEA spokesperson Derrick Careon earlier said the PDEA agents had proper documents supporting that they conducted a buy-bust operation.
In response, PDEA issued a certificate of coordination that the QCPD District Special Operations Unit extended to February 25 as it has only a 24-hour validity.—AOL, GMA News