DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 Aug) –Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa is aiming to deliver a 100-percent success in the fight against illegal drugs within the first three to six months, as promised by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
Dela Rosa told a press conference at the Camp Quintin Merecido in Panacan that he is confident they are well within the target, considering that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) estimated there have been 600,000 drug users and pushers who either surrendered or killed out of the 1.8 million drug personalities in the country.
He said they are setting the target higher so that they will still manage to get a passing grade from Duterte if they will not be able to eliminate totally the drug menace.
“We set out target very high, we aim high so that if we falter, we would still get a passing grade. We are aiming for 100 percent. We need it done within 3 to 6 six months – either they surrender, get killed, or get arrested. We need to address it,” Dela Rosa said.
He added that several barangay officials and concerned citizens have been coordinating with police authorities involved in the PNP’s anti-illegal drug programs, namely, Project Double Barrel and Oplan Tokhang (Toktok hangyo or knock and plead) that target both the drug lords and street-level drug personalities.
Dela Rosa said that he met with over 90 out of 160 politicians and police officers last Monday who had been named by Duterte early Sunday.
He added most of them surrendered for fear of life.
“Baka patayin sila anytime, shoot on site. Hindi lahat nagde-deny, hindi lahat umaamin. Meron umaamin buo, pero nagsasabi na ‘magbabago na ako.’ We respect their personal circumstances, kanya-kanyang rason. What is important at the end of the day, at the end of the conversation, they promised to change. Whatever bad impression has on them, they promise to cooperate in this war against drugs,” he said.
Dela Rosa warned those who did not appear before the 24-hour ultimatum set by the president expired.
“Hulat-hulat lang. kung mamatay pasensya, kung mabuhi okay lang (Just wait. If you get killed, I’m sorry. If alive, then it’s okay),” he said.
Last Sunday, Duterte said that he will order the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to hunt those who will not surrender. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)