• ‘Tokhang’ to cover schools, offices

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    THE Philippine National Police (PNP) will soon expand its anti-illegal drugs campaign to include schools, factories and the entertainment industry.

    Under Oplan Double Barrel Alpha, the intensified drive against illegal drugs will go beyond homes to cover work places.

    “We have now included schools, work places, the factories and the labor force working will now be included,”
    PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said during a media forum hosted Tuesday night by the Manila Overseas Press Corps (MOPC).

    Under Oplan Tokhang, the police knocked on houses and the homes of suspected drug users and dealers to encourage them to surrender.

    The PNP chief said the expanded anti-drug project was discussed during a command conference in Camp Crame on Tuesday.

    Dela Rosa said Oplan Double Barrel Alpha will be fully implemented after the order reaches out to all PNP regional directors.

    Oplan Tokhang is part of the Oplan Double Barrel that was introduced in July.

    It was also conducted in posh villages in Makati City such as Forbes Park, Dasmariñas Village and Magallanes Village.

    As of October 26, the PNP said 1,725 drug suspects have been killed in 32,909 anti-illegal drug operations since July 1. These operations resulted in the arrest of 31,629 drug suspects.

    The PNP said under ‘Tokhang,’ 2,626,126 houses were visited and 751,703 drug suspects surrendered.

    Stay out

    Education Secretary Leonor Briones however said schools should not be included in the PNP’s Tokhang operations because there is an existing policy that prohibits police and military personnel from entering learning institutions.

    “They cannot do that. There is no such kind of agreement [between the education department and the police]. I believe that their intent, as far as I know, is to conduct briefing and visit schools, but if there’s a tokhang in schools, we will not allow them to do that,” Briones told reporters in a press briefing.

    “Before the PNP made an announcement that they will include schools in their tokhang operations, the Education department had already made a scheme which is a statistical sampling wherein teachers and students will be tested on drugs without mentioning their names,” she added.

    Briones said while there could be students using drugs, they can only be tested with the permission of their parents.

    “But for now, what we really want to implement is the statistical sampling scheme. But we really have to be careful in doing this,” she said.

    The DepEd chief said the statistical sampling test may be conducted this year.

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