By Nancy Carvajal
The National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) probe into the supposed misencounter between agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) hit a snag after the undercover operatives contracted COVID-19.
A source familiar with the NBI’s investigation told Politiko that the interview with the PDEA agents has been put on hold since they’re on quarantine.
“Only the interview with the PDEA agents was halted. Other aspects of the investigation are ongoing,” Politiko’s source said.
NBI investigators want to get statements from PDEA agents to shed light on the February 24 shootout along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City that left five people, including a PDEA informant, dead.
The NBI has obtained CCTV footages, affidavits of civilian witnesses, firearms and cellphones of those involved, plus the two vehicles of the PDEA that had bullet holes.
The Senate postponed its inquiry on the incident after PDEA chief Wilkins Villanueva and PNP chief General Debold Sinas both tested positive for COVID-19.
President Duterte had instructed the PNP and PDEA to stop their investigation and instructed NBI as the sole government investigator of the incident.