Hontiveros renews call to probe PNP-PDEA misencounter

Senator Risa Hontiveros reiterates her call to investigate current law enforcement procedures and protocols, after a recent near ‘misencounter’ between Philippine National Police (PNP) officers and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) officials at a mall parking lot.

“Ilang ‘misencounter’ o ‘muntik nang misencounter’ pa ba ang kailangang mangyari bago nila masolusyunan ang problemang ito? February pa lang, yan na ang itinatanong natin. Hanggang ngayon, wala pa ring maayos na proseso, hanggang sa naulit na nga,” Hontiveros asked.

“Gross negligence ba ito? O may mga tiwali talaga sa loob ng ating mga ahensya? There are still so many unanswered questions, so I do hope the Senate can look into this immediately,” she stressed.

In February, four PDEA agents were injured while two PNP officers were killed due to a ‘misencounter’ in an anti-illegal drugs operation.

In March, the senator filed Senate Resolution 667, urging the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the existing law enforcement protocols to avoid future ‘misecounters.’

“Huwag nating hayaang isang paa ng ating mga operations ang nasa hukay. Humahaba ang listahan ng collateral damage dahil lang kulang sa koordinasyon, pero yung mga patakaran para maiwasan ang misencounter, hindi naman yata napapalitan. Pati mga sibilyan, naiipit sa gitna ng engkwentro,” Hontiveros said.

“Buhay ng ating mga opisyal ang nawala. Buhay ng ating mga mamamayan ang napapahamak dahil sa kawalan ng maayos na patakaran. Imbes na panatilihing payapa ang ating mga lungsod, mas lalo lang tayong nangangamba. We need to assure the public that this can be prevented. The families of those killed in the previous ‘misencounter’ also deserve answers that can them bring them peace and justice,” the senator added.

Hontiveros previously highlighted that the PNP has a 2021 intelligence fund of P856 million while the PDEA has P500 million. In PSR 667, she also cited that the PNP had procured 2,600 units of body cameras and that their use by police units conducting anti-drug operations would be prioritized.

“Milyun-milyon ang intelligence fund, pero nasaan ang intelligence? Libo-libo ang body cameras, pero nasaan ang mga pruweba? Public order ang gustong makamit, pero bakit public disorder yata ang nangyayari sa mga anti-drug operation na ito?” Hontiveros asked.

“Dalawang beses nang nangyari kaya hindi na maitatangging may problema sa patakaran nila. Huwag nating hayaang magsisihan lang ang mga ahensya hanggang sa magka-’misencounter’ na lang ulit bago umaksyon ang Senado. May pandemya pa tayong kinakaharap, huwag na nating dagdagan pa ng krisis sa seguridad,” Hontiveros concluded.