Año lauds peaceful Oplan Tokhang 2

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) finds the first week of the police force’s return to the government’s anti-drug war operations, dubbed Oplan Tokhang 2, generally peaceful and encouraging.

The DILG said it continues to monitor the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) adherence to the rule of law and the new operational guidelines in the government’s anti-illegal drugs operations.

“I am encouraged by the generally peaceful conduct of Oplan Tokhang on its first week since its relaunching on January 29,” DILG Officer-in-Charge-Secretary Eduardo M. Año said in a statement.

“This is the PNP’s opportunity to show the public what Oplan Tokhang is and what it is not. It is a way of appealing to families by first knocking on their doors and asking them to surrender any involvement in drug use or supply. It is not a coercive and abusive operation,” Año said.

He noted the new Oplang Tokhang should reflect the PNP’s commitment to stamp out illegal drugs but which is coupled with compassion by reaching out to homes and communities to cooperate by doing their part in this “shared responsibility towards a drug-free country.”

Año clarified the relaunch of Tokhang is not only against small-time drug pushers but also against drug syndicates, who continue to destroy the society with their illegal trade.

“We will apply the full force of the law and all appropriate actions against these drug syndicates and criminal groups to include their protectors and supporters, especially government officials and employees, who are unfortunately involved in illicit activities,” Año said.

He stressed the DILG and the National Police Commission (Napolcom) will continue to keep a close eye on the PNP to ensure that accusations of human rights violations will be a thing of the past.

“I am reminding our police officers to ensure that your fellow policemen are complying with the new guidelines. I sternly warn against the arbitrary and self-serving interpretation of the new policy,” Año said. *(DILG)