PNP to use ‘modified Tokhang’ for celebrities on drugs – Bato
“OPLAN Tokhang” will be conducted differently in the case of celebrities and TV personalities involved in drugs, said the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, on Tuesday.
Instead of the usual door-to-door drive to ask drug users to quit the habit, Dela Rosa said they are planning to conduct “Taphang” or “tapok-hangyo” which means “gather and plead” on celebrities on the narcolist of President Duterte.
“I-gather natin ’yung lahat ng TV personalities sa isang network sa poising nila then kausapin sila as a group, collectively, hindi na individually na you are identified. (We will tell them), ‘Please huminto na kayo at nakakahiya kayo sa taumbayan. Idol na idol kayo ng kabataaan tapos gumagamit pala kayo ng droga,’” dela Rosa said in an ambush interview at the Senate.
But even with a different format of the anti-drug campaign, the police chief assured that drug abusers in the entertainment industry will be treated the same way the police process street pushers and drug users surrendering to them.
“We will try to give them advice but at the same time ipa-process natin sila ’yung normal process gaya ng ginagawa natin sa street pusher or drug users para pantay-pantay tayo.”
“Hindi porke artista kayo, exempted na kayo sa procedures na ginagawa natin sa ating Oplan Tokhang. Ipa-process pa rin natin sila, iinterbyuhin, kukunan ng impormasyon kung saan nanggagaling yung drugs nila, sinong kasama nila, lahat-lahat na,” he added.
Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption chair and incoming Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chair Martin Diño revealed that there are about 50 celebrities on the President’s drug list, 10 were pushers and 40 were party drug users.
READ MORE: 50 showbiz celebrities next Tokhang target
If some entertainment personalities decide to surrender to the police, Dela Rosa said they will have to undergo the regular processing with the police but they would be given a chance to go back to their normal lives and mend their ways.
“Kung voluntarily sila mag-surrender, ito naman usapang lalaki, kahit na identified sila na user, kung mag-surrender sila, para sa akin, they don’t deserve to be jailed. Bigyan natin ng tsansang magbago ‘yung tao. The same is true with other users,” he said.
“I want this campaign to be as humane as possible. Kaya nga umabot tayo ng 720,000 na surrenderers dahil nga sa human approach na ginagawa natin,” Dela Rosa added./rga
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