While the investigation on the “misencounter” among law enforcement operatives in an illegal drugs operation last Feb. 24 in Quezon City “is principally on the criminal liability,” the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) “is not precluded from making a determination of administrative liability too.”
This was stressed by Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra late Saturday afternoon, Feb. 27, after his announcement that the NBI has formed a composite team to do the investigation.
President Duterte had directed the NBI as the only agency to conduct an investigation into the “misencounter” among operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that led to the deaths of four persons and injuries to others.
The President’s directive halted the investigation mounted jointly by the PNP and the PDEA shortly after incident.
Guevarra said the NBI “had mobilized their resources for the investigation long before they were formally ordered to conduct the probe.”
After the incident in the evening of Feb. 24, Guevarra immediately directed the NBI to conduct a parallel investigation. Then came the President’s directive to the NBI last Friday, Feb. 26.
Recalling his meeting with the President in the night of Feb. 26, Guevarra said: “The President was calm, but the concern on his face was palpable.”
He said both the heads of PNP and PDEA “offered no clear theories, as their investigation had barely begun.”
“What they (PNP and PDEA heads) narrated was essentially what we saw in news video footages, but nothing more than that,” he said.
“Dealing with the deaths and trauma of their operatives was their immediate concern,” he added.