THE ghosts of Oplan Tokhang casualties in Nueva Ecija are allegedly haunting their relatives and a police officer, a report from a provincial police director revealed.
When the government launched Operation Tokhang in July this year, thousands were killed or found dead either in legitimate encounters with the police or were victims of alleged extra-judicial killings.
“Tokhang” is a Cebuano word coined from katok and hangyo (knock and plead), which is a part of President Duterte’s campaign to rid the country of drug-related crimes, among other social menace. A special assignment group would knock on the door of suspected or widely known drug dependents and peddlers and talk to and admonish them to stop their illegal acts once and for all.
But by some twist of circumstances, many drug suspects ended up dead, their mouth gagged with packaging tape, and a cardboard saying they were addicts or pushers put on their bodies.
Police reported 90 persons were killed in the province, according to Nueva Ecija provincial police director Manuel Cornel. Some of those were victims of alleged vigilantes or an unknown group.
Tomas Abesamis, 65, of Peñaranda, Nueva Ecija, had been dreaming of his son Eugene, 45, missing since July 5. “I could see his haggard face and hear him begging me to find him.
Eugene, a police asset or informant, was believed killed and his body dumped somewhere. Because of information he gave the police, many drug suspects were either arrested or killed in Peñaranda. He was later reported abducted along the Cabanatuan–Santa Rosa road.
Santa Rosa town police Chief Insp. Jeffrey Alivia who reported three drug pushers killed, 792 surrendered, and one encounter with car theft in this town admitted to The Manila Times that of late, he had been bothered by mysterious knocking in the bedroom door in the station at dawn.
“When I looked out there was nobody outside the door,” he said. He would ask the night duty police officer if he saw the person knocking or hear anything. The answer was negative.
Alivia vacated his room and transferred his bed to the adjacent office, then covered by the curtains he made his way to the door to check if anyone had been disturbed by the knocking. A superstitious man, he suspected his previous room was disturbed by unknown spirits. “They got back at me knocking and pleading for the ghost drug suspect,” he said.
Chief Supt. Leandro Novilla, Talavera town chief of police, reported 12 dead drug dealers in his town. Two of those victims – Mirasol Lavapie Ramos and Sheryl Paraiso-Santos – who were both tagged as top drug peddlers were slain by alleged vigilantes. Their husbands are detained at the Caalibangbangan provincial jail for drug pushing.
The relatives of Santos who also surrendered include her father Isidro Paraiso, 61, a village administrator; her mother Nelia Paraiso, 56; and sisters, Lea, 27 and Nerissa, 37— all of Barangay Marcos. They told The Manila Times during an interview at the Talavera cemetery that their granddaughter could feel that her mother (Sheryl) still slept beside her at night.
“I know Sheryl is still with us. Her spirit could not yet be at peace,” Nelia said.
Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, Central Luzon Police Director, said he believes that spirits exist. “I believe that because I have my own experience with them.”
He reported that from July 1 to October 26, a total of 303 drug pushers were killed in seven provinces and two cities – Bataan, 24; Bulacan,166; Nueva Ecija, 90; Pampanga, 19; Tarlac, 20; Zambales, 8; Angeles City,29; and Olongapo,13.
The victim’s relatives believed that their spirits haunt the living in vengeance.
A minister of a religious sect said, “The Bible teaches very clearly that there are indeed spirit beings who can connect with and appear in our physical world. The dead soul are disembodied but they are still in the grave waiting for the second coming of the Son of God (Jesus Christ). On the other hand, these spirits are angels or demons.”
The minister added that according to 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, demons masquerade as “angels of light” and as “servants of righteousness. But actually they rebelled against God. They would appear as ghosts and impersonate deceased humans.
CELSO M. CAJUCOM