Suspend ‘Tokhang’


Senators say PNP should focus on cleansing ranks

SEVERAL senators want the Philippine National Police (PNP) to suspend its anti-illegal drug campaign “Oplan Tokhang” while officials rid the institution of scalawags.

Senate majority leader Vicente Sotto 3rd said the PNP should consider stopping the war on drugs temporarily and focus on ridding the organization of “bad eggs.”

Sotto made the call following reports that police officers have used the anti-illegal drugs campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte to extort money from their victims who are mostly foreign businessmen.

The most recent case was that of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, who was kidnapped by several armed men including members of the PNP and was killed inside the Cam Crame, the national headquarters of the PNP.

The victim’s wife paid a ransom of P5 million believing that Jee was alive. The prime suspects, Senior Police Officer (SPO3) Ricky Santa Isabel and Supt. Raphael Dumlao had denied their involvement in the crime.

Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito also issued the same call, saying that the PNP should first cleanse its ranks before proceeding with “Oplan tokhang.”

“The PNP should consider suspending Oplan tokhang while they are cleansing their ranks as a result of this controversial case,” Ejercito said.

He stressed that it is crucial for the PNP to get rid of police scalawags to restore the trust and confidence in the police force.

At the House of Representatives, Rep. Gary Alejano of Magdalo party-list said Jee’s murder proves that the legality of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs is questionable.

“Considering that the PNP is the main implementer of the current administration’s war on drugs, this case further raises question on the conduct of supposedly anti-illegal drugs operations. This [murder of Jee]and the extrajudicial killings, as well as the questionable death of Leyte Mayor [Rolando] Espinosa, put the credibility of the PNP on the line,” Alejano, a former Marine captain, said in a statement.

“How can we assure that all other anti-illegal drugs operations are being conducted within the bounds of law?” he added.

But Sen. Panfilo Lacson said the PNP leadership can carry on with the campaign against illegal drugs while ridding the institution of scalawags.

“It has to be done simultaneously — you have all-out war on illegal drugs and an all-out war inside,” he said.

No need

PNP chief Ronald Dela Rosa also does not see the need for them to suspend “Oplan Tokhang” amid fears that the bloody campaign is being used by some police officers to extort money.

Dela Rosa pointed out that not all “tokhang” operations ended in killings.

“You can ask the 1.3 million drug personalities who surrendered if they were kidnapped or were asked to pay ransom. They’re not, so what’s the reason behind it (petition)?” he told reporters in an interview.

“Do they want to suspend Tokhang so that the drug problem will return? They are asking for the worst,” he said in Filipino.

Dela Rosa was reacting to the petition filed at the Supreme Court (SC) by the Center for International Law (CenterLaw) on Thursday.

The group asked the High Court to suspend “Tokhang” operations in some communities in Quezon City after some of the relatives of those who were killed during the police operation claimed that they are being harassed.


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  1. It would have been expected if Senators Hontiveros, Delima, Trillanes, Drillon, or Pangilinan, had made the suggestion to suspend the “Tokhang” operation. But to have it come from Senator Sotto and Ejercito? That would be like going back to square one on the “war on drugs”. Just goes to show how pervasive and difficult the problem is, with roadblocks thrown at every turn. One cannot even say “heaven help the Philippines” because that would be touching on the Catholic Church, another roadblock.

  2. While other Senators back the war on drugs, others are stupid enough to come up with a bizarre suggestion of suspending Tokhang. Well, then. Don’t be surprised to see a resurgence of illegal drugs, which could get even worse.. And when this happens, they will have no one to blame but themselves. But as brainless and defensive as they are, they will wash their hands and put on the hot seat Gen Bato and the PNP and PDigong for the excessively uncontrollable surge in drug dealing and using. Really brainlessly incapable creatures. Not deserving of their august position.

  3. All the above suggestions are all good the only thing not right is the implementation. No matter how objectives and effective of your plans if the implementation is not as true it should be its useless and it will fall on showcasing. General de La Rosa should stop playing politics. General Bato stop being an errand boy of President Du30. Right now you still have the confidence of the president but with all the incidents at hand and here you are you hiding in the presidents blessing and some day you luck will run out you will be subject of redicules. Act now and be a man stop acting like you are a celebrity.

  4. How do you clean the organization? Like criminals who rot in jail, they will say they are all innocent. Let’s suspend the Senate as it harbors corrupt criminals! All this media spectacle being created by Congress resulted in zero legislation. What a waste of tax payers money.

  5. If you want to kill a tree, start at the roots, cut the tree at ground level and all above and below will die.
    The PNP have attacked the drug menace by trying to remove thousands of users at the top of the tree, each new year they will be replaced unless the tree is cut off at the roots.
    Drug Lords are the root cause of the drug problem. They should be the target of the PNP.
    How many have died in the War on Drugs?
    I suggest that the PNP are substantially supporting or even running the drug trade.
    Who are DU30’s bodyguards? The PNP?
    Draw your own conclusions.

  6. Admittedly, it is a difficult decision to make. If “Tokhang” were to be discontinued, even temporarily, there is the risk that the drug problem will be able to recover and restrengthen and bring us back to step one. On the other hand, it is really imperative that the PNP should undergo a top-to-bottom cleansing process to rid its ranks of undesirables and scalawags who use the war on drugs to commit crimes and enrich themselves to the detriment and prejudice of even law-abiding citizens. Maybe the suggestion of Senator Lacson makes sense which is to continue with “Tokhang” while at the same time undertaking an honest-to-goodness housecleaning. One need not cancel the other. For this purpose, PDG De La Rosa should be more forceful and aggressive. Do not simply stop with the sacking of the rotten eggs and instead start dismissing or severing them from the service ASAP through summary proceedings. The sooner they are out of the PNP, the sooner the PNP will be able to regain the trust of the people. Let us help President DU30 in his war against drugs by seeing to it that no police elements get to piggyback on it to promote their own interest.

  7. Suspension of Tokhang is not the answer. As Bato has said, scalawag PNPs are in existence for a long period of time. As an example if St. Isabel’s income was only 8K per month and has an asset value to 2M then he must be in the monkey business for many years. These are true to all other corrupt officials.

  8. Typical useless politicians: there is no excuse for stopping the fight against crime, especially now that the extent of problems are exposed. Help and lend a hand, work hard to fight the evils, instead of leaving them alone – don’t forget who paid for your expensive lifestyles, while the rest suffer in depravity.

    The fact that termites are being exposed left and right, and that they are entrenched well in every foundation of the government is time to double the efforts, not to abandon the country.

    Bring the torch and scorch everyone of them is only way to deal with the rot. The problem is all of the government institutions deserved to be burned. So be it.