Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Friday raised the possibility that the informant or asset of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) could be part of a drug syndicate and bungled the operation resulting to the deadly shootout.
"Isang teorya ko diyan, kung talagang pareho silang legitimate 'yung lakad nila, isang napakasaklap na posibilidad, baka mamaya they were being played by the drug syndicate... Sila na mismo ang pinagbabangga-bangga," Dela Rosa said in an interview on Dobol B TV.
"Baka mamaya 'yung mga informant, asset na kanilang ginamit, part of a large syndicate na mayroong somebody, orchestrated from the above, na ganito ang gawin ninyo para magpatayan 'yang dalawa na 'yan..." he added.
Dela Rosa, a former PNP chief, said this could be the new strategy of drug syndicates to continue their illegal activities amid reports that there is already a low supply of shabu in the country.
PDEA chief Wilkins Villanueva on Thursday did not discount the possibility that drug syndicates have a hand in the bungled operation.
However, Gabriela partylist Representative Arlene Brosas is not buying the possibility that law enforcers were played by a drug syndicate.
"Gusto ko lang sagutin 'yung sinasabi ni Senator Bato na 'misencounter' ang nangyari between PNP and PDEA at may possibility daw na naloko sila ng drug syndicate. Jusko, napaka-creative naman," she said at a virtual presser.
"Lahat na yata ng klase ng kwento at teorya ginawa na para pagtakpan ang kapalpakan ng awtoridad," she added.
Brosas said what authorities should check is the trauma the incident brought to civilians.
"Isipin natin 'yung trauma na pinagdaanan ng mga pinadapa at tinutukan ng baril. Meron pang buntis na nagmamakaawa at nanghihingi ng tubig dahil baka duguin siya. Nauna pang isipin ng gobyerno ang pagpapabango ng bulok na imahe ng kapulisan," she said.
Both agencies have insisted that their buy bust operations were legitimate and that proper coordination was observed. However, for the senator, this should not result in a gun battle if operations were real.
"Granted na mayroong coordination both sides, bakit humantong sa barilan na umabot nang mahigit sa isang oras? Kung mayroong coordination... " Dela Rosa said.
He also said that some members of the operating teams of the PNP and PDEA could be involved in drug selling.
Meanwhile, Surigao del Norte Representative Robert Ace Barbers shared the same belief as Dela Rosa, saying that if the operations were really coordinated, a firefight should not have happened.
"If there was really coordination and information-sharing, eh siguro maiiwasan ito. In fairness naman sa ating miyembro ng PNP at PDEA dito sa insidenteng ito, eh mukha namang... makikita natin na preparado sila..." Barbers said in a separate Dobol B TV.
He said it is also possible that were rogue members of the operating teams.
"Posibleng mayroon ding tiwaling kawani itong dalawang ahensyang ito na maaaring involved..." Barbers said.
The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, chaired by Dela Rosa, is scheduled to conduct a probe on the incident next week.
A House inquiry will also be conducted on the matter, said Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs.
Four were killed in the alleged misencounter between PNP and PDEA. The two chiefs of the agencies refused to provide more details on the incident pending investigation on the case.
The National Bureau of Investigation has also stepped in to shed light on the incident.
For Dela Rosa, the incident involving PNP and PDEA, the faces of the government's controversial war on drugs, will not affect the campaign.
"Nakikita naman natin seryoso sila na ipagpatuloy at paigtingin ang kanilang coordination. Hindi ito hihinto," Dela Rosa said.—AOL, GMA News