DIRECTOR General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa of the Philippine National Police (PNP) rejected the idea of renaming its anti-drug campaign known as “Tokhang” despite its negative connotation as a result of the extrajudicial killings that have been linked to its operations.
“I don’t care kung anong gusto nila (what they want). Basta ako (As far as I’m concerned), I stick with ‘Tokhang’,” de la Rosa told reporters on Tuesday.
De la Rosa’s comment stemmed from a proposal by Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Chairman Catalino Cuy to change the name once the campaign is revived.
Cuy told reporters on Monday that the term “Tokhang” should be replaced because of its negative impact on people.
National Capital Region Police Office Chief Oscar Albayalde, however, echoed his PNP chief, saying “Tokhang” had more impact.
“Tokhang” is a term in Cebuano, which means knocking on the door of an alleged drug user and pleading with them to surrender to authorities.
De la Rosa defended the word, saying it is “bloodless” in its essence.
President Rodrigo Duterte removed the PNP from his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs amid criticisms from human rights advocates here and abroad over the rise in extrajudicial killings resulting from the police operation.
He assigned the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to take the lead.
Duterte brought back the PNP in December but in support of PDEA. ROY NARRA