Police: Religious sector must join Oplan Tokhang

CHURCH personalities are now being pressured by the police to participate in carrying out the modified "Oplan Tokhang," a local police official said Wednesday, January 31.

Chief Inspector Mardy Hortillosa II, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo), openly shared this, explaining that "Tokhangers" in every police station were strictly ordered to involve representatives of the religious sector in visiting the houses of suspected drug personalities.

Hortillosa said this is part of the supplemental operations guidelines which requires 'Tokhangers' to invite church representatives such as pastors or priests.

"Nakabutang na gyud na sa guidelines nga at least one representative sa religious sector," Hortillosa said.

The police may also tap a representative from the peace and order council in the absence of the church representative.

As the new scheme of 'Oplang Tokhang' was implemented this week, Tokhangers in police stations have made sure that Church leaders are present.

Senior Inspector Joel Salo, deputy station commander of police station 3 in Agora, said it is very effective if church leaders could join so they can share their wisdom leading to the reformation of the drug suspects.

Salo said they invited Pastor Joseph Dazo of the Moral Recovery Offers Foundation Inc.(MROFI), to convince drug personalities to change their ways and stop drug involvements.

"Maayo ang dagan sa Tokhang karon kay motabang man ang pastor paghangyo sa mga drug personalities nga moundang na sa illegal drug activities,"Salo said.

"Mas effective kung naa gyud taga simbahan kay makahatag sila sa wisdom regarding sa pulong sa Ginoo," he added.

In police station 4 in Carmen, Tokhangers also tapped pastors to join the group in conducting the government's anti-illegal drug campaign.

Senior Inspector Marion Mantala, police station's deputy chief, said with church leaders with them, the Tokhang activities become fruitful and productive.

"Pinakadali nato nga ma-tap ang mga pastors. Maduolan man gihapon ang mga pari pero kining mga pastors maoy gawali during sa atong religious activity kada Monday," Mantala said.

"Pwede gihapon mga Imam depende nana sa station commanders,"Hortillosa said.

"Cocpo will always abide on the guidelines and will assure that there will be a religious representatives who will join and assist the conduct of Tokhang," he added.
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