The return of “less bloody” war on drugs

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) announced the return of the government's anti-drug campaign with the newly created drug enforcement group. Image Credit: Presidential Communications Operations Office

The Philippine National Police (PNP) announced the return of the government’s anti-drug campaign with the newly created drug enforcement group to be headed by a veteran of Mindanao wars, Senior Supt. Graciano Jaylo Mijares, PNP Region III deputy director for administration.

The comeback of “Oplan Tokhang” has now more stringent requirements for its operation. Only the chief police of the station with the barangay captain or official and a representative of the local parish will conduct the “tokang”

Less than a month “Oplan Tokhang” was suspended due to the abuses of law enforcers. It can be recalled that several police officials were involved in the kidnapping and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo in the Tokhang for ransom scheme. The Korean victim was kidnapped by police at his residence in Angeles City, Pampanga in the guise of a drug raid.

Moreover, PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa assured that this time, the war on  drugs campaign will be less bloody.

“It will be less bloody” Dela Rosa stated.

“May kasamang church, para di sabihin na ginagamit ang tokhang for unsolved murders.” He added.

(Accompanied by church, so they won’t say that “tokhang” is just use for unsolved murders.)

The controversial war on drug campaign also triggered the killing of thousands of people by suspected vigilante groups.

The term “tokhang” was taken from the Filipino words “katok” (knock) and “hangyo” (plea) which was actually the centerpiece of the PNP’s war on drug campaign.

In line with this, there would also be counterparts in the regional, provincial, municipal and police level. Dela Rosa also stated during the press briefing on Monday morning in Camp Crame  that this now the strict policy in “tokhang” the process may be slowly but it is surely.

According to Dela Rosa the problem with the “tokhang operations” before was the scalawag and rogue policemen who were able to use “tokhang” just to extort money from people.

On the other hand, Dela Rosa described the head of new PNP drug Enforcement Group as one of the veterans in Mindanao, Senior Supt. Graciano Jaylo Mijares is courageous, has survived the worst encounter in his life, a very straight person and has no bad record.

Hence, they are still completing the membership of the new drug enforcement group as they are looking for the best police officers with clean records.

Furthermore, the extrajudicial killings mainly those that are connected with a government-directed campaign against illegal drug, still continue to be the chief human rights concern in the country.  Since July 2016, the police and unknown vigilantes have killed more than 6,000 suspected  drug dealers and users.

However, the Malacañang assured now that the police who are taking advantage of the country’s war on drugs campaign will be arrested, investigated and prosecuted.

According to Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Duterte has already ordered the appropriate law enforcement institutions in order to take crucial legal steps to ensure accountability.

Thus, “Tokhang 2” will now focus on encouraging suspected drug addicts to avail the free rehabilitation program in government facilities  such as that in Nueva Ecija.

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