DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 03 June) — Incoming Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald Dela Rosa is optimistic that he will succeed in bringing Oplan Tokhang (Toktok-Hangyo or Knock and Plead) nationwide because of the high respect for the leadership of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte who vowed in his campaign to end criminality in three to six months.
Dela Rosa told a press conference Thursday afternoon that he is preparing a memorandum circular to be issued when he assumes post as PNP chief on June 30, for the implementation on a national scale of Oplan Tokhang an anti-illegal drugs campaign that he hatched when he was still police director here from 2011 to 2013.
Incoming Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa vows to clean up his ranks and implement Oplan Tokhang (toktok-hangyo or knock and plead) on a national scale during a press conference at SM City Davao on June 2, 2016. Oplan Tokhang is an anti-drug campaign that dela Rosa started when he was the police chief of Davao City. MindaNews photo by TOTO LOZANO
In explaining Oplan Tokhang, Dela Rosa said station commanders will ask the barangay captains to submit a list of residents who are into illegal drugs – pushers, dealers, users and couriers.
The police intelligence unit will then verify the report and check if the suspects are indeed involved in drugs because there are instances that barangay captains themselves are behind the illegal drug trade and list down names of their rivals.
The list might be added or trimmed down after validation but authorities will visit each suspect at their residence and ask them to stop from peddling or using illegal drugs in their community.
“Pag-open ng door kinakausap natin. Hindi naman siguro tayo ma-charge ng violation of domicile kay hindi ka man papasok sa bahay” (When the door opens, we talk to them. I don’t think we will be charged of violation of domicile because we are not entering their house), he said. “Alam ng buong barangay na nagbebenta ka ng droga. Nagmamakaawa kami sa inyo na huminto ka na. Kung ayaw huminto pahihintuin ka namin” (The entire barangay knows you are selling drugs. We appeal to you to stop. If you do not stop, we will stop you).
He said that “Tokhang” will be the PNP’s anti-illegal drug initiative aimed at demand and supply reduction at the barangay level while the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Anti-Illegal Drug Group, and the PNP’s intelligence will deal with the druglords.
He said “Tokhang’s” success in the city is due to the high regard for the leadership of Mayor Duterte. “Naging madali at hindi naging mahirap dalhin pero kung sa national level na yan, nakikita ko malaki ang problema but still since ang ating mayor dito sa Davao sya na ang presidente sa buong Pilipinas at yung City Director sa Davao yung ang magiging chief PNP, I think kaya natin gawin yan” (It was not difficult in the city because of the leadership but since the mayor will now be President of the entire Philippines and the City Director of Davao will be the chief PNP, I think we can do it).
But Dela Rosa said he would clean up his own backyard first to ensure that his programs will bear fruit.
“Una, lilinisin ko muna ang mga police ko, tatangalin ko sino ang dapat tanggalin. At the same time, yung ‘Tokhang’ ma-implement hindi naman siguro lahat ng police adik” (First, I will clean up my my police and remove those who should be dismissed. At the same time, implement “Tokhang” because not all police personnel are addicts),” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)