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PDEA links Lanao Del Sur local execs to ambush; 4 cop escorts relieved

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has identified individuals behind the ambush that killed five PDEA agents in Kapai, Lanao del Sur on Friday.

According to PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino, those involved include two to three local officials in Lanao del Sur and possibly some policemen.

This developed as the Philippine National Police relieved from duty the four policemen who were supposed to escort the PDEA agents to their office in Cotabato City.

The group came from a program for drug surrenderers in Tagoloan, Lanao Del Sur when they were ambushed.

"We have the names already, about 10 of them who made the ambush and some other persons of interest that includes some politicians," Aquino said in Jun Veneracion's report on State of the Nation with Jessica Soho.

Witnesses said the police escorts overtook the PDEA agents and sped away.

"Minutes before the ambush, bigla na lang sila nag-overtake na humahagibis. Hindi na naabutan ng PDEA agents," Aquino said.

"A few seconds thereafter in-ambush na ang tropa ko," he added.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the police escorts failed to respond to the attack because they were only armed with short firearms.

All four are now under the custody of the PNP. —NB/RSJ, GMA News