Oplan Tokhang in Cebu: ‘Many inmates still into drugs’
CEBU CITY — Police conducted an Oplan Tokhang visit at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) to encourage inmates to stay away from illegal drugs.
Many inmates still use illegal drugs as shown by the shabu and paraphernalia recovered in jails in various parts of the country, according to Senior Insp. Zosimo Jabas Jr., team leader of the Cebu Provincial Public Safety Company, which has been helping secure the provincial jail.
“It’s a fact that there are inmates who still use illegal drugs even inside the jail. And so we urge you to stop and instead cooperate with us,” he told 500 inmates who were among the first batch to undergo the Oplan Tokhang.
The campaign involves policemen knocking on houses of drug suspects and asking them to surrender. Jabas said bringing the Oplan Tokhang to the CPDRC was a modified version of the program, with the same intention to stop the spread of illegal drugs.
Inmates were asked to sign a pledge that they would end their involvement in illegal drugs. They also submitted their bio-data and fingerprints for profiling.
Jabas reminded the inmates that their pledge to change their ways didn’t end with signing documents.
“They must be sincere. We’re not doing this just for compliance’s sake. We’re serious in our campaign,” he said. The CPDRC has 3,008 inmates, 60 percent of whom are facing drugs charges in court.
Jabas said they would monitor the inmates to ensure they stop using illegal drugs. “The Oplan Tokhang is a continuing program. We will monitor those who have surrendered to make sure they won’t go back to their old ways,” he said.
High-value inmates, including suspected drug lord Alvaro “Barok” Alvaro, the number one drug lord in the province of Cebu, will undergo a separate Oplan Tokhang program for security purposes.
“We shall conduct a separate session for them in order not to compromise their security,” Jabas said.
Lito Granada, the head of all the inmates at the CPDRC, encouraged prisoners involved in illegal drugs to cooperate with the police.
“What will happen to you if you promise to stop using illegal drugs and yet you don’t as you promised? You should stop using drugs for you, your family, and your future,” he told the other inmates in Cebuano.
From July 1 to Sept. 22, some 68,312 drug users and 5,094 pushers surrendered to the different police offices in Central Visayas.
Aside from visiting houses, police also implemented the Oplan Tokhang at condominiums, subdivisions and bars to persuade those into illegal drugs to surrender. SFM/rga
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