DILG, PNP open to scrapping ‘Tokhang’ drop box program
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have said that they are “willing to drop” the controversial “Tokhang Drop Box.”
During the Senate plenary debates on the DILG’s budget on Wednesday night, Senator Risa Hontiveros called on the DILG and PNP officials to remove the “highly irregular mechanism of anonymously reporting alleged drug dependents and criminals.”
Hontiveros said she strongly suggests that they scrap the drop box mechanism from the drug war, bringing up the possibility that innocent people may be accused.
“It will only be prone to malice and abuse and could even lead to unnecessary deaths. What says the department’s good sponsor?” Hontiveros asked.
Senator JV Ejercito, who is the sponsor of the DILG’s budget, said that both the DILG and PNP are open to shelving the said mechanism.
Hontiveros then moved to put on record the DILG’s commitment to remove the proposed mechanism.
“Yes, Mr. President, we are listening, the DILG and PNP officials are here and they are willing to drop the box,” answered Ejercito.
Hontiveros then replied: “I would like to thank the DILG and the good sponsor for responding positively. Now that’s thinking outside the box.”
Last August, the DILG issued Memorandum Circular 2017-2012 specifying the guidelines for the DILG’s community-based anti-drug program “Masa Masid.”
Under the program, the DILG calls on barangays (villages) , municipalities, and cities to set up drop boxes to enable the public to anonymously report alleged drug dependents, peddlers and other criminals.
The Quezon City police has started to implement the program, distributing drop boxes in 142 barangays. /idl
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