Did the police or PDEA commit ’sell-bust’? Authorities investigate

Published February 25, 2021, 2:48 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Did the Philippine National Police (PNP) or the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) commit “sell-bust” operation during their supposedly “legitimate” drug sting?


As both agencies claimed they were on authorized drug operations that led to a misencounter on Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City Wednesday night, authorities believe that a “sell-bust” operation might have been illegally held by either of the two to catch drug personalities.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. told reporters Thursday that they would investigate if a “sell-bust” operation was really committed.

He said a “sell-bust” is “not allowed” since “all cases that are instigated, especially if they are drugs-related” are illegal.

“Makakakita tayo ng mananagot, lalo na kung sino yung nag-sell bust. Ang sell bust po kasi, initially, hindi po talaga pwede ‘yan (We will look for those who are liable, especially those who committed sell-bust because it is really not allowed),” he said.

In an interview with DZBB, former PDEA chief Ret. Gen. Dionisio Santiago said anti-narcotics agents “sometimes did it.”

“Meron din, yung medyo anomalous, sell bust. Yung target mo papainan mo ng droga tapos huhulihin mo (There is also an anomalous sell bust, in which drug targets are driven into a trap so they can be arrested),” he said.

“Minsan ginagawa yan. May mga target na mahirap hulihin. Pero that is illegal. Sell bust, bawal yun (Sometimes, it’s being done. There are targets that are hard to catch. But that is illegal),” he added.

In an initial report from the Batasan Police Station, it said that members of the Quezon City Police District’s (QCPD) Special Operations Unit held a “buy bust” operation on suspects who turned out to be PDEA agents.

House Committee on Dangerous Drugs chairman and Surigao del Norte Rep. Ace Barbers said that “if the news reports are to be believed, PDEA seems engaged in or conducting a ‘sell bust.’”

“If this is so, PDEA’s sell bust operation is not legal because it borders on the illegal act of instigation and drug selling or trafficking,” he added.

PDEA has yet to issue its side. But PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon, in a GMA News interview, already said their agents were in the area on a legitimate “buy-bust” operation and they had a buy bust money “in their possession” to prove that the operation was planned.

At least three, including two police officers, ended up dead and four injured following the “misencounter” between the police and PDEA agents along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City at around 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday.