PDEA stands by the legitimacy of operation in QC 'misencounter' with QC cops

Published May 22, 2022, 9:48 AM

by Chito Chavez

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is standing by the action of its Drug Enforcement Officers (DEO) during the alleged misencounter with the police force of the Quezon City Police District in February last year, saying the operation embodies the agency’s brand of professionalism and excellence.

The incident at the parking lot of a mall on Commonwealth Avenue on February 24 last year left two cops, one PDEA agent and one informant dead.

On May 19, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will file charges against three PDEA agents and four police officers over last year’s misencounter.

The DOJ noted that it will file homicide charges against the PDEA agents and direct assault charges will be lodged against the Philippine National Police (PNP) officers.

In a statement, PDEA spokesperson Derrick Arnold Carreon stressed that the agency respects the authority and competence of the National Prosecution Service in the conduct of the preliminary investigation but “finds that much is to be desired upon learning of the National Prosecution Service’s resolution.’’

Even with the death and injuries sustained by both the PDEA and the PNP, Carreon said the agency “remains steadfast that facts, indisputable circumstances, electronic evidence in the form of CCTV footages, jurisprudence and other pieces of evidence sufficiently show the culpability and accountability of the police commissioned and non-commissioned officers involved in the incident.’’

In the said ‘misencounter’, the PNP officers and PDEA personnel engaged in a shootout in front of a fast-food chain with both sides claiming to be conducting anti-drug operations.

In a GMA News report, those who will be facing homicide charges are PDEA agents Khee Maricar Rodas, Jelou Satiniaman and Jeffrey Baguidudol over the death of Police Corporal Eric Elvin Gerado.

“After evaluation of the evidence, the Panel of Prosecutors found sufficient evidence to charge respondents PDEA agents Rodas, Baguidudol, and Satiniaman for homicide,” the DOJ briefer read.

Meanwhile, those who will be facing direct assault charges are Police Corporal Paul Christian Ganzeda, Police Corporal Honey Besas, Police Major Sandie Caparroso and Police Major Melvin Merida.

“With respect to the injuries sustained by PDEA responders, there is sufficient evidence identifying some police officers who actually hit, strike, and maul them,” the briefer said.

The charges will be filed at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court. (Chito A. Chavez)