Fifty-three drug personalities have been killed in police operations since the Philippine National Police started to actively support the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial war against drugs.
PNP deputy spokesperson Supt. Vimilee Madrid said those killed were from operations that started in December 5, 2017 – when the PNP started to support the PDEA – to February 8, 2018.
Madrid said those killed “most probably” resisted when they were being arrested by anti-narcotics operatives.
“We have 53 (drug suspects) who died in police operations,” Madrid said.
Of the 53 drug personalities killed, 31 were killed in drug buy-busts while 11 were killed in operations conducted by the PNP Regional Office 3 in Central Luzon, Madrid said.
“Most of those killed were in buy-bust operations,” she added in Filipino.
Madrid added that the other drug personalities were killed during the service of search warrants and in checkpoint operations such as “Oplan Sita.”
Meanwhile, Madrid said that since the PNP re-launched “Oplan Tokhang” on January 29, the campaign remained “bloodless” with no casualties being recorded over a two-week period.
Police units have arrested 6,253 drug personalities in 4,058 operations, according to Madrid.
“Tokhang efforts (are) still bloodless, (with) 6,253 recorded nabbed drug personalities (in the) intensified double barrel reloaded (campaign),” Madrid said.
According to Madrid, the PNP has implemented 3,456 “Tokhang” activities in 17 regions with 1,573 drug personalities surrendering nationwide.
PNP Regional Office 10 and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) posted the highest record of surrendered drug personalities, with 586 and 401, respectively.
There are total of 11,000 individuals in the drug watchlist of different police offices, Madrid said.
The PNP’s involvement in the war against illegal drugs was removed in October last year amid public outrage following the deaths of teens Kian Loyd delos Santos, Carl Angelo Arnaiz, and Reynaldo “Kulot” de Guzman.
The PNP rejoined the fight in December to assist the PDEA which has a limited manpower and resources to conduct anti-drug operations.
PNP Chief Dir. Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa meanwhile assured the public of a “bloodless” Oplan Tokhang before the police returned to the controversial campaign.
“Tokhang,” a play on the Visayan words “katok” (knock) and “hangyo” (plead) refers to the house-to-house visits of police officers on the homes of suspected drug criminals to ask them to surrender.
It is now being implemented from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m. by four-man team of “Tokhangers,” or a group of policemen who are authorized and trained to conduct the campaign.
Tokhang operations, under the PNP’s new guidelines, should be joined by a representative from the barangay council, human rights group, or religious sector. Operatives are also not allowed to enter a suspect’s house. /muf