PNP to resume 'Oplan Tokhang,' 'Oplan Double Barrel' anti-drug ops

07 December, 2017, 03:12 | Author: Lynne Higgins
  • SunStar file

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) "to resume providing active support" to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the war on drugs, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday.

Roque said there had been "a notable resurgence in illegal drugs activities and crimes" since police were told to leave the campaign on October 10.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will resume its anti-illegal drug operations. "The Dangerous Drugs Board shall remain as the policy-making and strategy formulating body in the planning and formulation of policies and programs on drug prevention and control", Roque said.

Amnesty International called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to begin an investigation into the crimes against humanity, including the deaths of approximately 60 children, committed during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's violent "war on drugs", according to Amnesty International.

On October 10, Duterte removed police from this fight amid criticism from rights activists and United Nations officials, who referred to thousands of drug suspects killed during a national anti-drug campaign.

"Tokhang" is the flagship campaign against illegal drugs, where the policemen visit homes of suspected drug personalities.

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"In the previous budget hearings, they have said that they have fewer manpower personnel and resources and therefore if we really want to have an honest-to-goodness drug campaign that will produce results, then we do encourage government to support PDEA", De Guia added.

"Since the signing of the record of discussion, capability enhancement trainings involving counter-narcotic operations, drug enforcement conferences and seminars, and bilateral meetings between the two organizations were successfully carried out", Aquino added.

Aaron Aquino, an active police general who was appointed by Duterte in August to lead the PDEA, earlier conceded the agency will have difficulty curbing illegal drugs because it is undermanned. "May the justice of God come upon those responsible for the killings!" the statement said. Duterte said in a speech, referring to human rights groups, Catholic bishops and priests who had urged an end to the killings.

But in October he announced that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency would replace the police in the drug war following mounting public opposition, including rare street protests, that were triggered by officers allegedly murdering three teenagers.

Police Chief Inspector Varrie Villanobos of PNP Dumaguete City said that despite the suspension of PNP's anti-drug operations, the police station is still conducting patrol deployment plan that include motorcycle, beat, and on foot patrol for 24 hours.

At the time of demoting the PNP, Duterte described the force as being "corrupt to the core".

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