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Cops vs PDEA: Shootout near mall leaves 2 dead
The gunfight erupted near a fastfood restaurant shortly before 6 p.m. and lasted for almost an hour, reports said. Bystanders scampered into different directions as gunshots rang out.
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

Cops vs PDEA: Shootout near mall leaves 2 dead

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - February 25, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two policemen were killed in an encounter last night between members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) in front of the Ever Gotesco mall along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

The gunfight erupted near a fastfood restaurant shortly before 6 p.m. and lasted for almost an hour, reports said. Bystanders scampered into different directions as gunshots rang out.

An initial police report said three police officers from the QCPD Special Operations Unit, identified as Lt. Ronnie Ereno and Corporals Lauro de Guzman and Calvin Eric Garado, and two PDEA agents were wounded in the incident.

Investigation showed the police were conducting a drug sting, unaware that the persons they were transacting with were PDEA agents.

During the confrontation, the PDEA agents reportedly opened fire and shot the policemen which triggered a shootout which lasted for almost an hour.

The policemen claimed the operation was properly coordinated with PDEA and had the necessary documents.

PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas and PDEA director general Wilkins Villanueva arrived at the scene to supervise the investigation.

The PNP and PDEA formed a board of inquiry to probe the incident, a police official said.

Sinas directed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to lead the probe and designated Metro Manila police chief Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao as spokesman on the case.

“The PNP and PDEA both agree and assure the public that the incident, while serious, will in no way affect the continuing operational relationship and coordinations they have long firmed up in the fight against illegal drugs,” Sinas said in a statement.

Ever Gotesco mall management said in a statement: “We have secured all access to the mall so all shoppers are safe inside. Our priority right now is to ensure the safety of the employees and the public.”

“The management is closely coordinating with the PNP,” it added.

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