Thursday , May 24, 2018

Police ask Bacolodnons: Support return of ‘Tokhang’

THE Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) asked the public for full support and cooperation in the re-implementation of “Oplan Tokhang.”

With the resumption of police's role in the campaign against illegal drugs last December 23, Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo, officer-in-charge of BCPO, said on Tuesday the city police force is prepared to resume “Tokhang,” in relation to the Oplan Double Barrel.

Ebreo acknowledged that their resources and personnel are limited in monitoring all those involved in illegal drugs thus, he encouraged the public to report to the authorities any individual who is involved in illegal drug activities.

He said they are closely coordinating with the barangay officials for the identification of drug suspects.

Ebreo assured the public that the house visitation through “Tokhang” will be done properly.

He also said the police will continue to monitor drug surrenderers to check if they have indeed stopped engaging in illegal drugs.

“If they will be caught doing the same illegal activities, they will be subjected to police operation, including those newly-identified drug personalities,” Ebreo added.

Superintendent Gilbert Gorero, spokesperson of Police Regional Office (PRO)-Western Visayas, said there are no guidelines yet on the resumption of Oplan Tokhan, but they welcome such development.

Last Friday, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald de la Rosa said that he reminded his men, particularly the commanders, to implement the “true spirit” of the Oplan Tokhang as they formally re-launch it this month.

De la Rosa said he gave the green light during in last week’s command conference for the resumption of Oplan Tokhang.

“My instruction during the command conference is to resume Tokhang, but implement it properly. What happened was that some policemen, armed with a list of drug personalities in the barangay, go to the drug personality's residence and demand money in exchange for the removal of his name from the list,” he added.

Tokhang was coined from the Visayan words "toktok" (knock) and "hangyo" (plead).

It refers to the police practice of going to a drug personality's house and convincing him or her to stop illegal activities.

De la Rosa said Oplan Tokhang is “bloodless,” however, it has been connoted by killings when it was implemented nationwide due to the increase of drug personalities being killed during its conduct.

Last year, the PNP was twice stripped of its lead role in the implementation of the war on drugs because of the killings.

Twice also, Duterte allowed the police to resume operations against illegal drugs, although the lead implementing agency now is the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.