Cops unable to take antidrug drive to rich Makati City villages
The police apparently could go no further after the chairs of Makati City’s posh villages, home to many of the country’s rich, issued “certifications” that they have no drug suspects among their residents.
This was according to Mayor Abby Binay, who still called on the residents and officials of these gated communities to be “more cooperative” in the campaign against drugs.
Binay on Wednesday issued the statement after learning from the Makati police chief, Senior Supt. Rommil Mitra, that officials of Forbes, Dasmariñas, Bel-Air, San Lorenzo and Urdaneta villages did not submit a list of drug suspects, as mandated by the Philippine National Police’s Oplan Tokhang.
The PNP campaign, fueled by President Duterte’s tough pronouncements against crime, has so far caused thousands of drug users and pushers to “surrender” and be documented, mostly from slum areas.
Binay said because of the certifications, the police were unable to conduct Tokhang in the high-class villages. They were, however, able to go around Magallanes village, but the search also yielded no drug suspects, the mayor said.
But a barangay hall employee of one of these villages, who asked not to be named for lack of authority to speak to the media, said it was the police who asked for a certification from them to confirm that they had no suspected drug pushers or addicts among their residents.
“Besides, we really don’t have any drug-related cases,” the employee stressed.
The staff member explained that the gated communities have stringent security measures when it comes to police searches: If the officers implementing Tokhang want to knock on every door inside the village, the barangay officials would have to notify every homeowner and ask for their permission before allowing the police in.
“It would be easier if the police already had a name of a suspect and his or her respective address. But even then, we would still have to ask for the residents’ permission to allow the search.”
Such measures are apparently not observed in other barangays, in Makati or other parts of Metro Manila, where police can just go to a suspected drug suspect’s house and force his or her surrender.
In the 26 barangays in Makati, a total of 625 drug users and 185 pushers have come out in the open as of July 18, according to an accomplishment report provided by Southern Police District chief information officer, Supt. Jenny Tecson.
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