Robredo: PNP promised to re-assess, improve anti-drug campaign
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has divulged that the Philippine National Police (PNP) had promised to re-assess and improve “Oplan Tokhang,” amid her suggestions to come up with a better anti-drug campaign.
Robredo, who is a week into her post as Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) co-chair, said she brought up the issue with PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa before meeting with the law enforcement cluster on Thursday morning.
“Napag-usapan sa pre-meeting, nagkaroon ako ng pre-meeting with the OIC PNP chief saka ‘yong mga opisyal na assigned dito sa trabahong ito, ni-reiterate ko ‘yong aking suggestion for them to rethink ‘yong kampanya especially ‘yong Tokhang,” she told reporters in an ambush interview.
“Nag-agree naman sila, and they promised to assess and come-up with an improved version of what we already have. ‘Pag binasa mo kasi ‘yong project double barrel, maganda naman ‘yong pagkalatag pero obviously ‘yong gaps, dahil nagkaroon ng abuses on how it was implemented,” she added.
Robredo, during the first ICAD meeting with her at the helm, previously raised the possibility of replacing Tokhang with another campaign, as it has reached a level of notoriety where it is equated to senseless killings.
Malacañang recently assured that Robredo would be given enough room to operate, allowing the scrapping of Oplan Tokhang.
Critics of the administration have called out President Rodrigo Duterte for starting a bloody campaign, where more than 5,500 have been killed in legitimate police operations.
The Vice President reiterated her previous sentiments, explaining that the word “Tokhang” or literally knock and plead — derived from Tagalog word “katok” (knock) and Visayan word “hangyo” (plead) — has been used with a negative connotation.
“Ni-reiterate ko rin na nagkaro’n na siya ng negative na iteration, in fact ginagamit na siyang verb di ba, ‘pag sinabi mong tokhang hindi maganda ‘yong connotation,” Robredo explained.
“So ‘yon yung ni-raise ko sa kanila, and they agreed na panahon para i-reassess kung papaano siya mas makaka-evoke na ang kampanyang ito hindi against against sa tao pero kampanya ito ng tao,” she added.
Reporters tried to get the side of Gamboa over the issue but he begged off interviews, saying that they have decided that Robredo would be the one to talk about it.
Tokhang was the brainchild of former PNP chief and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa. In the said Oplan, police officers would knock at the doors of suspected drug personalities, asking them to surrender or change their ways.
The drug problem has been a prime point of Duterte’s campaign before being elected as president in 2016.
Edited by MUF
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