Drug Bust Turns Deadly, Undercover Agents Open Fire on One Another

Drug Bust Turns Deadly, Undercover Agents Open Fire on One Another

A shootout during a botched undercover drug bust led to two dead police officers and three wounded DEA agents, according to the Philippine News Agency, an official state media outlet.

Since being elected in 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has led a “war on drugs” that has turned deadly on many occasions. According to reports from police and human rights groups, the campaign, which encouraged a crackdown on drug dealers and addicts, has led to thousands of deaths.

This recent case is no different.

The two police officers who were killed in the shootout were members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the three injured officers belonged to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

The incident occurred in Quezon City on the evening of February 24. According to CNN, “Police from the Quezon City Police District special operations unit had been conducting a drug buy-bust operation in a fast-food chain parking lot when they found out they were transacting with PDEA agents. The shootout took place shortly after; the exact circumstances of the shooting are not yet clear.”

Two investigations have been initiated into the incident, one through a joint PNP-PDEA inquiry, and another through a Philippine National Bureau of Investigation probe.

“As of now, what is clear … the PDEA Special Enforcement Services was in the area on a legitimation operation,” said PDEA spokesperson Derrick Carreon, according to reporting by the Philippine News Agency.

“We will leave it to the Joint Board of Inquiry. We will see the documents tomorrow. For now, our priority is to attend to our wounded personnel,” Carreon added.

Brigadier Geneneral Ildebrandi Usana, a PNP spokesperson, told the Philippine News Agency that the incident, “while serious, will in no way affect the continuing operational relationship and coordination they have long firmed up in the fight against illegal drugs.”

“In the interest of determining the truth behind the incident, a joint PNP-PDEA Board of Inquiry will be formed to determine what transpired and who should be held liable,” Usana continued.

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