The Daily Manila Shimbun


Local police will lead new anti-drugs campaign: Dela Rosa

March 4, 2017

Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said Oplan Tokhang, part 2, or a renewed anti-illegal drugs campaign will only be led by local police officers.

“The authorized personnel to do this are the (personnel) of the local police station to be led by the chief of police. They will be escorted by the barangay captain in knocking on the doors,” he said in a radio interview on Saturday.

He did not say when the anti-illegal drug campaign, better known locally as tokhang which is a combination of words to knock and plea, will resume.

President Rodrigo Duterte suspended the police's anti-drug campaign on January 30 after a South Korean businessman was abducted and killed in the guise of tokhang on October 18, 2016. He ordered the PNP to dissolve its anti-illegal drug unit.

The campaign earned worldwide opposition as deaths reached at least 7,000 when Duterte halted it. But Dela Rosa said this week mayors and governors told him drug activities in towns and provinces have returned.

Policemen must be in complete uniform and if the drug suspect is killed by police in a manner that can be questioned, the local police chief will be held responsible for this.

Dela Rosa said no policemen from PNP headquarters will be tasked to conduct Oplan Tokhang. Police cannot force drug suspects to go with them for interrogation, he added.

Dela Rosa said the renewed anti-illegal drug campaign of the PNP aims to encourage the drug dependent to undergo rehabilitation program.

“That is also one of our purpose because our local government units are prepared, they already have programs and on national level our DOH ( Department of Health) also have prepared rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija,” he said.

Dela Rosa assures the renewed anti-illegal drugs will not be abused by the police.

“What we will assure is that it will never be abused because as I said it will no longer be done by just any police. It has to be led by the chief of police of the municipality and barangay captain and officials,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS