NBI to probe killing of 5 PDEA agents in Lanao del Sur
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe the killing of 5 agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Lanao del Sur, which the justice chief denounced as an "act of cowardice."
In a text message, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he has given this directive to NBI Director Dante Gierran. Guevarra told the NBI to prioritize this investigation and promptly submit its findings to him.
"I have instructed Director Gierran to investigate the killing of 5 PDEA agents in Lanao del Sur and identify the people responsible for this act of cowardice against our anti-narcotics agents," Guevarra said.
The slain PDEA agents were Kenneth Tabulo, Kristine Mae Torlao, Lores Joy Amar, Binzo Dipolla, and Diobel Pacinio, according to the Philippine National Police - Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PNP-ARMM).
PDEA said the agents were in Tagoloan II town on Friday to conduct an anti-drug symposium headed by the PNP. Police said that after attending the program, the group was headed to Marawi City when they were attacked by still unidentified men.
Lanao del Sur Governor Bedjoria Soraya Alonto Adiong condemned the killing of the 5 PDEA agents. "I call on the Philippine National Police to make a swift and thorough investigation on this incident," she said.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino also earlier assured the victims' families "that we will urgently conduct a full investigation to identify the shameless criminals who committed this crime."
"Their death will not go in vain. We will fight even more with fierce commitment and determination. This has just given us more strength to continue our crusade rather than bow to the threats of these illegal drug syndicates," Aquino said. – Rappler.com