• ‘Suspending Tokhang will ‘kill’ war vs illegal drugs’


    Suspending Oplan tokhang will sabotage war against illegal drugs, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption on Saturday said.

    The group”s founding chairman Dante Jimenez, in a statement, said suspension of Tokhang is ‘ill advised’, adding that what is needed is more cleansing of the rank and file of law enforcers, particularly the entire force of the Philippine National Police.

    The statement of Jimenez following the call of Senate majority leader Vicente Sotto 3rd who urged President Rodrigo Duterte to consider stopping the war on drugs temporarily and focus on ridding the organization of “bad eggs.”

    Sotto said the PNP personnel should stop their syndicate-style extortion of money from their victims who are mostly foreign businessmen.

    Even PNP Director General Ronald Dela Rosa was compromised after South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, who was kidnapped by several armed men including members of the PNP, was killed inside the Camp Crame, the national headquarters of the PNP.

    Worse, Jee’s wife paid a ransom of P5 million believing that his husband was alive.

    The prime suspects, Senior Police Officer (SPO3) Ricky Santa Isabel and Supt. Raphael Dumlao, alk based in Camp Crame, had denied their involvement in the crime.

    Even Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito said that the PNP should first cleanse its ranks before proceeding with “Oplan tokhang.”

    However, a former PNP director general told The Manila Times that it will take time to get rid of police scalawags and there ‘must be a drastic move similar to tokhang’ if the government is really serious.

    “Giving recollection or requiring them to listen to a bishop will not do anything to stop them from their criminal activities. Check their lifestyles and file appropriate charges questioning their wealth will be more effective,” said the former PNP chief who asked not to be identified.

    So far, more than 7,000 individuals were killed via tokhang operations.

    The United States, United Nations, and human rights groups are against tokhang, saying it will not at all solve drug addiction.

    Some members of the Lower House are also against tokhang.

    However, based on the narco list of President Duterte some congressmen themselves are into drug trade, including mayors and other elected officials, mostly at the 42,000 barangays spread nationwide.

    In Manila, a number of village chiefs tested positive of illegal drugs following a mandatory drug test ordered by Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada.

    Estrada told The Times that he will personally announce the names of drug addict village officials once confirmatory tests were done.

    Malacanang on Saturday shrugged off calls for President Rodrigo Duterte to suspend his administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign amid fears that it is being used by erring policemen.

    In a radio interview, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella reiterated that Duterte is pursuing a two-track” agenda when he expresses his support to the police force.

    “This was actually his platform to actually bring cleansing… Of course, we still have to determine everything.

    The way we perceive it, the President is really pursuing a two, a parallel track agenda. Cleansing, on the other hand, continuing to fight illegal drugs, criminality and corruption,” Abella told government-run dzRB radio.

    “I don’t know if it’s necessarily, we’re hearing what the legislative is saying. However, however let’s leave it to the President to decide regarding these matters. It comes directly under his office but we can see na ano po, ang Presidente is doing lahat po ito,” he added.

    Abella issued the statement following calls by several lawmakers to suspend the administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign to focus on ridding the Philippine National Police (PNP) of scalawags.

    This came after reports that police officers have used the administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign 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 policemen and was killed inside the Camp Crame, the PNP’s national headquarters.

    The victim’s wife paid a ransom of P5 million believing that Jee was alive. The prime suspects, Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Santa Isabel and Supt. Raphael Dumlao had denied their involvement in the crime.

    Jee’s killing has led to calls for PNP Chief Director-General Ronald dela Rosa to resign, a proposal which was turned down by Duterte.

    Abella said that while the President promises protection for policemen performing their duty, he will not tolerate abusive and corrupt cops.

    “The President continues to protect their efforts, assuming regularity… [But] the President has also said he will deal quite severely with those who are erring,” he said.

    The PNP has been conducting “Oplan Tokhang” (knock and plead) as part of the President’s intensive campaign against illegal drugs.

    Some of the operations have been criticized for the bloody outcomes, where drug suspects are killed by police for allegedly fighting back.

    Duterte has always been vocal in his support for the police, saying he will back them up should they face charges in the performance of their duty.

    On Thursday, the President apologized to South Korea after police suspects killed one of its citizens as he promised that the culprits will be given the “maximum” punishment.

    Duterte said he would even send the heads of the perpetrators to Seoul.

    “You will suffer. Make a move to escape. Then I would thank the gods. Then I can maybe send your head to South Korea,” the President told the killer.


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    1. We are at war—there is no war that has not produced casualties , do not count the dead , count the casualties only for record purposes.
      When David went to war against their enemies , he let the dead be counted to keep a record not to prosecute anyone. It was simply a record.

      Inculcate in your mind , we are fighting a war , we are not playing a child’s game. Do not act like children. In a war between the good and the evil , only one must win , and that is the forces of the good , let the evil diminished.

      You are trying to compel the government to stop , you also must compel the adversaries to stop their illegal activities to observe fair play. You are forcing the government to a halt , yet you allow the enemies to continue—how are you going to stop the war if you deal only with one part while leaving the other part untouched.

      Are you not biased in favour of the enemies? You try to shackle the hands of the authorities while keeping the hands of the criminals unbridled.
      You are anti-government for you wanted the government to lose.

      Kidnappings for ransom , extra-judicial killings , poll surveys—all of these are geared toward destroying the governing authorities. Rallies in the streets as well as economic sabotage—all these are conniving to topple the government.

      What you are trying to do is also anti-God for God hates evil and He has decreed a day of annihilation for them. Come the appointed time of the end , there will be more casualties.
      The Lord shall finally give the ultimate death blow to the enemies!
      Will you still consider pleading for the dead?

    2. Kidnappe and ransome syndecates has been active from before Tokhong operation. (Think of the time when vice police chief was boss of the syndicate), which means bothTokhong and cleasing of bad eggs inside PNP must be persued in parallel.

    3. yup. better to kill people without due process than to kill the war on drugs.

      oo nga naman.
      a no brainer for even those without brains.

    4. Edgar Tanjuatco on

      If police operations against drug personalities, against kidnappers and against criminals in general are suspended while the police force is being cleansed, the criminals will take the opportunity to regain lost ground. Suspending police operations will actually slow down the cleansing process of the PNP because it is the police operations that exert pressure on the crooked cops to make desperate moves and get caught.

      • Criminals have been gaining ground. Kidnappers, extortionists, murderers are now wearing police uniforms and have guns and badges. The have invaded police headquarters and made it their hideout. Suspending Oplan Tokhang also suspend their criminal activities. These criminals are the worst kind and should be prosecuted and punishef to the full extent of the law.

    5. Assign a group of policeman with proven credibility and not tainted with any criminal activities to go after illegal drugs. None member policeman of these group shall be allowed to go after drug suspects. And make them to follow the legal processes, no more summary killings and respect for human rights should be their guiding principles!!!! That way they could be easily monitored by the higher ups and the citizens, and enforc the rule of command responsibility!!!!

    6. Only the drug lords and their partners in politics are agitating for the scaling-down of the anti-drug war. It will not be a surprise if it gets known that even members of the media establishment have been co-opted and incentivized to generate propaganda against the anti-drug war. The multi-billion peso drug trade will not go quietly and will fight back viciously. Drug lords and the politicians who benefit from drugs are running rampant. KILL THEM ALL. FOR THE SAKE OF THE COUNTRY’S FUTURE.

    7. Correct me if I am wrong but the chief of the anti corruption drive Atty. Jimenez seems to have a different priority now. I think he wants also to be spokesman of Du30 against drug. This grandstanding will just erode the credibility of his organization. Why is he silent on bribery case involving 50 million pesos caught on CCTV by the BI agents who fraternity brothers of Du30. I think by sweeping it under rugs will get him a lucrative position or he is just cowering in fear just to hear the name Du30.