A National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) composite team has been formed to conduct the probe on the “misencounter” among operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) last Feb. 24 in Quezon City.
Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra said on Saturday, Feb. 27, the team is headed by NBI Deputy Director Antonio M. Pagatpat and is composed of agents from the bureau’s investigation, intelligence, and forensic divisions.
President Duterte last Feb. 26 directed the PNP and PDEA to forego their join investigation on the “misencounter” in front of a restaurant in Quezon City.
Thereafter, the President directed the NBI as the sole agency to investigate the incident that resulted in the death of two policemen, one PDEA agent, and one informer, and left several persons injured.
Guevarra said that in a meeting with the President Friday evening, Feb. 26, he requested that “both PNP and PDEA be directed to extend their full cooperation to the NBI.”
On Friday night, Feb. 26, the NBI – through Deputy Director Ferdinand M. Lavin – said “we will stand to the challenge as we always do” (referring to the President’s directive for the NBI to be the sole agency to investigate).
“There is no question that with NBI Director Eric Distor at the helm of the Bureau, we will be able to do an impartial investigation into the incident,” Lavin said.
He expressed the NBI’s gratitude to both the President and Justice Secretary Guevarra “for their complete trust upon the NBI.”