A dead body of a PDEA agent in an ambush in Lanao del Sur | Screengrab from a video posted by Facebook user John Rajah
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is looking at two to three local officials as persons of interest in connection with the ambush of PDEA agents in Lanao del Sur last week.
The agency, however, declined to name these personalities.
“Ayon sa updates from the ground, may identified po tayong mga local politicians possibly involved in the incident and the investigation is focused on that,”
PDEA Chief Public Information Officer, Dir. Derrick Arnold Carreon said.
Other than PDEA, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has also launched an investigation into the incident.
The police escorts of the slain PDEA agents have been relieved from their posts for allegedly leaving behind the victims minutes before their ambush.
“So nag-utos si Police Director General Oscar Albayalde ng malalimang imbestigasyon kung bakit nag overtake yung sasakyan ng police escort just minutes bago natambangan ang ating mga kasamahan,” Carreon said.
PDEA believes that the arrest of high-value targets in the province is among the motives behind the attack.
“Marami po ang mga high value targets ang nahuli dun sa area among the most worthy noong September na kakatapos lamang ay yung pagkakaaresto sa isang provincial board member kasama ang ilan niya pang mga kasamahan na may posisyon din,” said Carreon.
Meanwhile, the Commission On Human Rights strongly condemned the attack against the PDEA agents.
The CHR Region 10 is conducting its own probe into the incident and has extended their condolences to the victims’ families.
CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia said the incident proves that the culture of impunity has become rampant in our society.
The Commission also hopes that the government will be able to solve the culture of killings in the country.
De Guia reiterated that only the implementation of the rule of law and due process can put a stop to the cycle of violence and build a community that values each human life. — Benedict Samson