‘Bato’ dela Rosa presidency to pursue ‘Oplan Tokhang,’ but says it’s different from EJKs
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said he would retain the “Oplan Tokhang 2” that President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs had been known for, if he gets elected president in 2022.
But Dela Rosa, who spearheaded the government’s drug war when he was police chief, quickly clarified that “Oplan Tokhang” is different from extrajudicial killings (EJKs).
“Of course tuloy yan. But of course hindi naman tayo magbibingi-bingihan dun sa mga suggestion, sa mga recommendation how to make it work very good,” he said in an online interview on Monday when categorically asked if there will be Oplan Tokhang Part 2 should he win the presidency.
(Of course, that will continue. But of course, we will listen to the suggestions, recommendations on how to make it work well.)
He stressed that recommendations and other possible changes may be considered to further improve the government’s fight against illegal drugs.
“Kung baga mag a-adjust tayo to the changing times,” he said. “Hindi naman pwedeng pag sinabi mong ganun pa rin ang gawin natin, ganun pa rin ang mangyayari, walang pagbabago. Meron yan of course, dahil nakikinig tayo sa pulso ng bayan.”
(We’ll adjust to the changing times. It doesn’t mean that because we say we will continue this, we will not make any adjustments. Of course there will be changes because we’re going to listen to the pulse of our people)
Dela Rosa insisted that the intention of Oplan Tokhang, which means “Knock and Plead,” was “very noble.”
“Kasi kayo, karamihan sa mga tao dito ay ini-equate nyo ang Tokhang to EJK. Pag sinabi nyong Tokhang, EJK kaagad ang iniisip nyo. Mali po yung iniisip nyo. Tokhang is different fromm EJK,” he said.
(The problem is that many of you here equate Tokhang to EJK. When we say Tokhang, you immediately think of EJK. What you’re thinking is wrong. Tokhang is different fromm EJK,)
The alleged human rights abuses resulting from the government’s bloody war on illegal drugs were included in the complaint filed before the International Criminal Court.
Dela Rosa, one of those charged for crimes against humanity, has repeatedly expressed his readiness to face the accusation.
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