• PNP ‘on track’ with drug war

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    THE police is on track with the Duterte administration’s crackdown against illegal drugs even if it was suspended because of policemen who committed abuses, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced on Thursday.

    The campaign against illegal drugs, dubbed Operation “Tokhang” (knock and plead), has achieved 70 percent of its target with over 1.2 million surrenderees since it started last year, according to PNP spokesman Dionardo Carlos.

    However, Tokhang was criticized by both local and international human rights groups over law enforcers committing abuses like extra judicial killings, among others. It was also criticized by members of the opposition.

    The campaign was suspended after policemen allegedly killed a Korean businessman inside Camp Crame in Quezon City, but was later revived by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte. The revived campaign was dubbed “Oplan Double Barrel Reloaded.”

    “Our intention or the objective was to continue with the program but the campaign [has]to be more transparent. Our personnel [will be]more accountable and less bloody, as what we want to achieve,” Carlos said in an interview.

    The PNP official is also looking forward to the involvement of other sectors that will help make the campaign transparent.

    Carlos said anti-drug operations have been opened to the religious sector, human rights groups, non-government organizations and other civil organizations that want to have a “first-hand” experience how the drug war is being operated.

    However, the Commission on Human Rights and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines still oppose the war against drugs.

    “We are delivering results. We are on track with our target…we would like to achieve [a deadline]in double barrel reloaded and after June 30, we will have another assessment and look at what would be the next step forward into the program…but what we discovered is the magnitude of the problem,” said Carlos.

    As the President is set to mark his first year in office, Carlos said data on the war against drugs is expected to be released next week, saying it will undergo proper consolidation and will also be submitted to PNP chief Ronald de la Rosa.

    “This will be the one-year accomplishment of the PNP pertaining to its campaign against drugs, criminality, corruption, internal cleansing and administrative accomplishments, recruitment, logistic [and]activities,” Carlos said.

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