PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief Ronald ‘Bato’ de la Rosa has admitted authorities were running out of time to meet the six-month deadline of President Rodrigo Duterte in putting a stop to crimes, particularly illegal drugs.
The PNP chief said during a new conference in Camp Crame on Thursday they were tripling their efforts in the intensified campaign against illegal drugs, which is entering its third month.
De la Rosa said 929 drug suspects have been killed in legitimate police raids since July, while 1,507 have died outside police operations.
But the PNP still feels short of its intended targets. The PNP is aiming for the surrender of 1.8 million Filipinos hooked on illegal drugs, based on the estimate of the Dangerous Drugs Board, the PNP chief said.
So far, more than 600,000 people have turned themselves in to authorities, which the PNP chief described as a “plateau.”
“The President said that we should have zero tolerance against illegal drugs, we have a lot of things to catch up with and I’m worried that we are running out of time,” de la Rosa told reporters in Camp Crame on Thursday.
On Friday, the PNP National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) said it was stepping up its campaign against illegal drugs by bringing “Oplan Tokhang” inside exclusive villages, condominiums and call center offices in Metro Manila.
The NCRPO director, Chief Supt. Oscar Abayalde, said in a statement he had directed all district commanders in Metro Manila to step up the implementation of Oplan Tokhang, wherein police knock on the doors of drug suspects and urge them to surrender, and “Project Double Barrel,” in which police pursue big-time drug offenders.
He pointed to the effectiveness of Oplan Tokhang and Project Double Barrel in suppressing the supply and consumption of illegal drugs, given the number of surrenderers.
Abayalde said involving exclusive villages and condominiums would lead to “further cleansing” Metro Manila of illegal drugs.
He said the NCRPO’s Oplan Tokhang has so far yielded 41,819 drug surrenderers, arrested 3,891 others and neutralized 294 suspects during police operations, for the period July 1 to September 1.
“We are on our second month on the war against illegal drugs and we renew our commitment to accomplish the marching order of the President by encouraging everyone to be involved in this campaign,” the police official said.