Senate probe on Commonwealth shootout postponed
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Wilkins Villanueva yesterday tested positive for COVID-19, a day before he is set to testify at the Senate inquiry into the deadly shootout between police and PDEA agents in Quezon City last month.
Hours after Villanueva announced that he tested positive for the virus, the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs deferred the probe set for today.
Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, who chairs the committee, postponed the investigation indefinitely.
“The probe is postponed until further notice as Villanueva, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas and other resource persons who had contact with the two officials are under quarantine,” Dela Rosa said.
One of the PNP officials who interacted with Sinas succumbed to COVID-19 yesterday, according to Dela Rosa.
Villanueva said he got himself tested on Saturday in preparation for his appearance at the Senate probe on the shootout between PDEA agents and Quezon City police officers.
“As I was preparing for the Senate inquiry, I took my RT-PCR test at the Chinese General Hospital yesterday as part of the requirement. This morning, I received the result. I tested positive,” he said in a statement.
Villanueva advised those who came in close contact with him to take the necessary precautions.
Operatives of the Quezon City Police District and PDEA agents engaged in a shootout in what both parties claimed was a legitimate anti-drug sting along Commonwealth Avenue on Feb. 24.
Two police officers, a PDEA agent and an informant were killed in the shootout.