President Rodrigo Duterte will ask Congress to delay its investigation into the shootout between elements of the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to allow the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to do its probe first, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Saturday.
According to Roque, this idea came out in a discussion during Duterte's meeting with officials of the PNP and the PDEA on Friday night, two days after the deadly shootout outside a mall along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.
"To ask Congress to delay its probe so NBI can proceed with its investigation first," Roque said in a text message sent to GMA News Online when asked about what transpired during the said meeting.
Duterte earlier on Friday ordered the NBI, which is under the DOJ, to look into the events that led to the shootout.
An initial report by the NBI indicated that two PDEA agents and an informant were killed in the shootout during a supposed anti-drug operation. Two bemedaled police officers for the Quezon City Police were also killed.
In a Palace briefing on Saturday, Roque said Duterte explained to PNP chief Police General Debold Sinas, PDEA chief Wilkins Villanueva, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and NBI Deputy Director Antonio Pagatpat in the meeting why he wanted the NBI to conduct an investigation into the shooting incident.
"Gusto ng Presidente na magkaroon ng impartial investigation para maiwasan ang mga malilikot na mag-isip at para rin sa peace of mind ng mga biktima na patas ang imbestigasyon," he said.
"Kung maaalala niyo po, si PDEA DG Villanueva kasama ang ilang matataas na opisyales ng PDEA ay galing sa kapulisan or sa hanay ng PNP," Roque said.
He added that Senator Christopher "Bong" Go was also at the meeting on Friday, he said.
Both the PNP and the PDEA said their teams were on legitimate buy-bust operations and coordinated with each other prior to the shooting incident. —LBG/KG, GMA News