PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa said Friday, January 12, 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.
Dela Rosa said he gave the green light during Monday's command conference for the resumption of Oplan Tokhang.
“Ang instruction ko sa kanila sa command conference is that ibalik natin ang Tokhang pero ‘yung totoong spirit ng tokhang, hindi ‘yung ibang tokhang na ginagawa nila dati na ‘yung pulis may dalang listahan ng drug personalities sa barangay at sasabihan ‘yung drug personality ikaw nasa listahan ka magbigay ka ng pera para tanggalin ka namin sa listahan. May mga ganun na pangyayari so kailangan natin implement properly ‘yung tokhang,” he said during an interview in Valenzuela City.
(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.)
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.
“As I have said, ‘yung aming Davao experience nalinis ‘yung Davao dahil sa tokhang ‘yung drug problem namin bumaba to the lowest level dahil na-supervise ng husto. Eto dito ngayon may mga masamang intention na nakasingit but this time around siguruhin natin na talagang properly implemented otherwise mananagot ‘yung gagawa ng kalokohan,” he added.
(The illegal drugs problem in Davao was diminished to the lowest level because of tokhang. This time, we are going to make sure that it is properly implemented.)
During his stint as the Davao City Police chief, Dela Rosa implemented the Oplan Tokhang.
Dela 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 (PDEA).
Meantime, Dela Rosa assured that more stringent punishment awaits policemen involved in irregularities, especially now that their salaries have been doubled.
“Hindi lang mas mabigat (na parusa) kundi mas mabilis na pagresolba ng kanilang kaso, mas mabilis silang madismiss, promise ko yan sa inyo. Idi-dismiss ko kaagad ‘yung mga pulis, lalo na ‘yung mga PO1, times two na ‘yung sweldo nila, gagawa pa rin ng kalokohan, pang-aabuso,” he said.
“At kahit hindi nag-increase ‘yung sweldo ng kapulisan, kahit ang basehan natin ‘yung lumang sweldo pa wala pa rin rason para gumawa ng katiwalian,” he added.
Dela Rosa said he expects his men to more aggressive in doing their jobs, particularly the 24/7 police patrols, law enforcement and investigation of pending cases. (SunStar Philippines)