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Hontiveros wants inquiry into law enforcement protocols after PNP-PDEA 'misencounter'

Senator Risa Hontiveros is calling for an investigation into the current procedures and protocols being practiced by law enforcers to prevent a repeat of a "misencounter" similar to what transpired between police and agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) last week.

Hontiveros' proposal is contained in Senate Resolution 667, which she filed on Monday, barely a week after the deadly shootout between police and PDEA agents at the parking lot of a fastfood restaurant along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City last Wednesday.

"May kinalaman ba ang ibang opisyal ng PNP o ng PDEA sa kalakal ng ilegal na droga? Saang banda ito naging misencounter? We must find out now," Hontiveros said in a statement.

"We need to know if the incident was a simple 'misencounter' caused by gross negligence, or if it resulted from deliberate unlawful acts committed by either the police officers or the PDEA agents involved,” she added.

In her resolution, Hontiveros cited National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. who said his office would determine whether a "sell-bust" really took place despite being illegal.

“Kung ‘sell-bust’ nga, ibig sabihin, nagkunwaring sellers ang mga opisyal natin, klarong ilegal ang ginawa nila," she said.

"Dapat hindi na ito mangyari ulit. Hindi magandang ehemplo sa publiko na kung sino pa ang nagpapatupad ng batas, sila pa ang unang lumalabag,” she added.

Hontiveros likewise emphasized the statement of Justice Secretary Menardo Gueverra before the United Nations Human Rights Council, in which he admitted that law enforcement protocols were not observed in the government's campaign against illegal drugs which led to deaths.

The justice secretary also said that the filing of administrative and criminal charges had been recommended against police officers.

“Tuldukan na natin ang walang saysay na patayan. This has become a trend, when it shouldn’t be," Hontiveros said.

"Let’s not wait for more deaths before we clean up not only our law enforcement protocols, but also and more especially, our law enforcement officers,” she added.

An initial report by the National Bureau of Investigation (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.

A report by investigators from the Quezon City Police District Station 6 in the Batasan area said that the policemen conducted a buy-bust operation at the area "with complete coordination and necessary papers."

The report said the QCPD officers later learned that they were transacting with PDEA agents.

The Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs was supposed to conduct an inquiry into the incident this Tuesday, but it was postponed to a later date.

Malacañang earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte would ask the Senate and the House of Representatives to delay its investigation into the shootout to allow the NBI to do its probe first.—AOL, GMA News