Shootout! At the rate our law enforcement officers are shooting at one another, who’s left to eliminate dangerous criminals?
Senator Risa Hontiveros, quoting the NCRPO chief: “This isn’t the first misencounter.” OMG, how many more have there been and to come! The senator added: “But why an hour?”
Who fired the first shot between PDEA and QCPD outside and inside the mall on Commonwealth Ave. at going-home time, 6 p.m., last Wednesday? Which side came to their senses before a stand-down was called, belatedly, before the guns fell silent? Killed, two multi-decorated policemen of Quezon City, one PDEA agent, one informant. Three others injured.
The supposed targets of the operation got away without a scratch. “James” and “Leika” – who saved them from the long arm(s) of the law?
TV journalists complained how the press conference called by the heads of PDEA and PNP answered one question, yes, it was a “coordinated” operation. The government channel’s reporter said the two men “refused to disclose information,” fueling speculations of a “set-up, a scalawag” (why not mole or traitor), and “R1.5 million in boodle money” missing.
GMA News had the most comprehensive coverage of the shooting war, including cellphone footage of mall customers cowering in the ladies’ room as one of two policemen with long guns yelled at a woman, “PDEA ka?” Squatting on the floor, a woman slowly, carefully pulled out her ID from the back pocket of her jeans and admitted she was. Another woman begged for water, still another asked for help, she was pregnant. The video ended with the policeman ordering the men to crawl out and be frisked. “Don’t look at me!” were the last words heard.
Senate President Tito Sotto, author of the bill creating the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, said the law’s intent was to make PDEA a “superbody to supervise PNP” and commented that apparently that mandate is not being followed. Your guess is as good as gold: A Senate hearing coming up.