Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 27, said he has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) “to give the highest priority” in its probe on the “misencounter” last Feb. 24 among law enforcement agents engaged in illegal drugs operations.
Guevarra said priority should be given “in view of the public interest that the subject incident has generated and its impact on the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.”
The “misencounter” among agents of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Quezon City resulted in the death of two policemen, one PDEA agents, and one informer, and injuries to several persons.
President Duterte has intervened in the investigation and directed the NBI to be the sole agency to do an independent and impartial probe.
The President’s directive put to halt the investigation being conducted jointly by PNP and PDEA.
To do the probe, the NBI has formed a composite team composed of agents of the bureau’s investigation, intelligence, and forensic divisions.
Guevarra said the team is headed by NBI Deputy Director Antonio M. Pagatpat.
He said that no less than the President has directed the PNP and PDEA to extend their full cooperation to the NBI.