Cops expected 300 ‘druggies’ to join bike tour; none came
Despite the rains, around 200 policemen, nonuniformed personnel and volunteers organized by the Eastern Police District (EPD) pedaled their way through four cities on Saturday for “Bike for Change,” a campaign that apparently tries to promote a gentler side of the Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs.
But a major part of the activity didn’t go as planned: No one showed up among the estimated 300 confessed drug users who earlier surrendered to the EPD under Oplan Tokhang and were expected to join the bike tour.
An EPD public relations officer, PO2 Catherine Capinpin, said the no-show participants probably thought the morning event got canceled because of the weather.
Still, despite being delayed by about an hour, the EPD-assembled bikers rode off starting from Pasig City Hall.
The four-hour tour took them through Pasig, Marikina, Mandaluyong and San Juan, where the bikers waved banners conveying warnings about the dangers of illegal drugs. Some parts of the itinerary were skipped due to street floods.
As part of the activity, EPD director Senior Supt. Romulo Sapitula and Pasig Mayor Robert Eusebio set effigies—representing drug lords, pushers and their coddlers—on fire.
PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa was represented in the program by Director Gilbert Cruz, director of police community relations group.
Also standing in for Dela Rosa was his mascot—”PO1 Bato”—who danced with the NCRPO Dance Fitness Team.
“Our bike (campaign) will spread awareness of our seriousness in the campaign against illegal drugs,” Sapitula said.
Despite the absence of the drug users, the EPD later issued a statement calling Saturday’s activity a success.