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Palace on killings of PDEA agents, Ozamiz judge: Drug war is real!

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By Prince Golez

The killings of five agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and a judge attested that the government’s war on drugs “is real,” Malacanang on Tuesday said.

“Ang mga ganitong pagpatay ay mariin naming kinokondena; ang mga ito ay patunay na totoo ang panganib na kinakaharap ng ating mga otoridad sa pagsugpo sa ipinagbabawal na gamot,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said on Tuesday.

Roque said the government extended its sympathies to the families of the slain anti-drug operatives, namely Kenneth Tabulo, Kristine Mae Torlao, Lores Joy Amar, Binzo Dipolla, and Diobel Pacinio, and Judge Edmundo Pintac, who were ambushed Friday last week by unidentified gunmen in Kapai, Lanao del Sur following their dialogue with former drug dependents in Tagoloan town.

“Nakikiramay ang Palasyo sa mga pamilya ng mga mahal sa buhay na naiwan ng limang PDEA personnel na pinatay sa isang ambush sa Lanao Del Sur noong Biyernes. Nagsimula nang gumulong ang imbestigasyon, at ang kasong ito ay personal na tututukan mismo ng Pangulo. Makakaasa ang lahat na makakamit ang hustisya sa mga napaslang,” the official said.

“Ang aming panalangin at pakikiramay din sa pamilya ng pinatay na Hukom, si Judge Edmundo Pintac.”

On Monday, Judge Pintac of Ozamiz City Regional Trial Court Branch 15, who handled the Parojinog case, was killed in an ambush by four motorcycle-riding men.

In 2017, Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, who was on President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of allegedly narcotics-linked officials, and 14 others were killed in anti-drug raids.

“Inatasan ng Pangulo ang pamunuan ng Philippine National Police na gawin ang lahat upang mahuli sa lalong mabilis na panahon ang mga taong may kinalaman sa karumal-dumal na mga krimen na ito,” Roque said.

Duterte is expected to visit the wake of five PDEA personnel in Maguindanao on Wednesday.