PNP sees group behind Lanao del Sur ambush of PDEA agents

MANILAThe Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday revealed that they already have persons of interest in connection with the ambush that killed five Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) members and wounded two others in Kapai, Lanao del Sur.

We have already persons of interest. We are monitoring a group. There are indications that this is related to anti-drugs campaign in the area, PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde told reporters in a press conference on Monday, adding that they are also looking into the possibility that some narco-politicians are also involved in the attack.

Results of initial investigation points to local drug dealers, who were affected by the aggressive campaign against illegal drugs in Lanao del Sur and nearby areas as the possible suspects.

The PDEA agents were on their way back to their office after attending a program for drug surrenderees when they were waylaid in Tagoloan II town. Another PDEA agent and a civilian employee of the local police were wounded.

Earlier, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino vowed justice for the death of five of his men and even criticized the local police in the area for not escorting the ambushed PDEA agents.

Albayalde said he had already relieved the policemen who were supposed to escort the PDEA agents and subject all of them to investigation.

Kung hindi ako magkamali mga nasa four or five personnel. (The reason) sila mga kasama kasi na sinasabi iniwan yung PDEA agents. Sila sumama papunta sa lugar. (If I am not mistaken, there are four to five personnel. They were the ones who should be with the PDEA agents. They should be joining them in going to the place.) They are now being investigated, said Albayalde.

The PNP Chief said what he wants to determine is whether the cops intentionally abandoned the PDEA agents.

Albayalde, however, said the possibility of drug syndicates brazenly engaging in executions of policemen and other people in government is unlikely.

Hindi naman. Wala tayong nakikitang ganyan. I think with our offensive, we will maintain our offensive. Ito ang pinakamaganda kasi ditowe maintain our offensive kaya sabi nga sa basketball the best defense is offense so we will not relent on our campaign against illegal drugs. Dapat palagi kaming nasa offensive dito (We don't see something like that. I think with our offensive, we will maintain our offensive. This is what is good on what we do. We maintain our offensive. Just like in basketball, the best defense is offense so we will not relent on our campaign against illegal drugs), he explained. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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