PNP may resume anti-drug campaign but less bloody

  • A police officers draws his gun as he is about to enter a house during an “Oplan Tokhang” or house-to-house campaign on illegal drugs at an informal settlers’ community in Manila on October 6, 2016. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told all his critics to “go to hell” on October 6, as he renewed his threats to kill, after a poll showed Filipinos overwhelmingly endorsed his deadly war on crime. / AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS

The Philippine police’s controversial campaign against illicit drugs known as the “Oplan Tokhang” may be revived but in a less bloody form, according to The Manila Times Online report on Friday.

National Capital Region Police Officer chief Oscar Albayalde said he thought Ronald de la Rosa, the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, was keen on bringing back dahil dito tayo nakilala (because this was where we were recognized).

He said the NCRPO would focus on identifying drug users and would try to persuade them to surrender, but warned that operations against them would not be ruled out.

Under the Oplan Tokhang program, police knocked on the doors of drug suspects to urge them to surrender, but it often turned bloody as the suspects did not give up willingly and put up a fight.

Albayalde said the NCRPO was willing to cooperate with the Drug Enforcement Agency in dealing with drug suspects.

The DEA is leading the government’s drug war after the PNP was relieved of anti-drug campaign efforts in October last year following heavy criticism against extrajudicial killings of drug suspects highlighted by the deaths of three teenagers.

Almost 4,000 drug suspects were killed in the first 17 months of the Tokhang campaign.

Two months afterward in December, President Rodrigo Duterte brought the PNP back in the war against drugs spearheaded by the DEA.

Five suspects were killed by the police on Wednesday (Jan 10) in Bulacan province, a frontline in the crackdown against illicit drugs, while 95 others were arrested in dozens of sting operations.