By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) does not see a scenario of drug dealers organizing themselves into groups and fight back at law enforcement agencies hunting them down.
Philippine National Police Chief Director Oscar Albayalde
(Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the possibility of a Mexico-type situation in the county, wherein drug syndicates are brazenly engaging in executions of policemen and other government people, is unlikely in the Philippine setting.
“We don’t see something like that. I think with our offensive, we will maintain our offensive,” Albayalde said.
“This is what is good on what we do. We maintain our offensive kaya sabi nga sa basketball the best defense is offense so we will not relent on our campaign against illegal drugs,” he added,
Albayalde made the statement following the death of five agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in an ambush in Lanao del Sur last week.
The initial investigation points to local drug dealers who were affected by the aggressive campaign against illegal drugs in Lanao del Sur and nearby areas as the possible suspects.
The PDEA agents were on their way back to their office after attending a program for drug surrenderees when they were waylaid in Kapai town. Another PDEA agent and a civilian employee of the local police were wounded.
“We have already persons of interest. We are monitoring a group. There are indications that this is related to anti-drugs campaign in the area,” Albayalde said.
He added that they are also looking into the possibility that some narco-politicians are also involved in the attack.
Earlier, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino vowed justice on the death of five of his men and even criticized why the local police in the area did not escort the ambushed PDEA agents.
Albayalde said he had already relieved the policemen who were supposed to escort the PDEA agents and subject all of them to investigation.
“All of the policemen are now under custody. They were all relieved from their posts,” Albayalde said.
What he wants to know in the investigation, according to Albayalde, is if the cops intentionally abandoned the PDEA agents.
This, as the initial report revealed that the car of the PDEA agents overtook their vehicle and that they were not able to respond since they were just armed with short firearms.