The Department of Interior and Local Government urged on Sunday the public to come forward if there will be abuses by the policemen in the new "Oplan Tokhang," an anti-illegal drug campaign.
In a statement, DILG Officer-in-charge Eduardo Ano hailed the "generally peaceful" implementation of Oplan Tokhang 2 during the first week since it was relaunched on January 29.
“This is the PNP’s (Philippine National Police) opportunity to show the public what Oplan Tokhang is and what it is not. It is a way of appealing to families by first knocking on their doors and asking them to surrender any involvement in drug use or supply. It is not a coercive and abusive operation,” he said.
The PNP is under the DILG.
Ano said the public should not be afraid to speak or come forward should there be abuses by the police in the conduct of anti-illegal drugs operations.
"There’s the PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force. But if you do not want to report to the PNP, you can report to the DILG field offices, NAPOLCOM, or to the People's Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) in your locality,” he said.
The first Tokhang operation, which was launched shortly after President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in July 2016, was criticized for being bloody.
Thousands of individuals allegedly involved in the illegal drug operations were killed allegedly by policemen.
Due to criticisms locally and abroad, Duterte suspended the PNP's Tokhang campaign and designated in October last year the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency as the lead and sole agency in the ant-illegal drugs operations. But later, he again allowed the PNP and other concerned agencies to participate in the war on drugs, with PDEA remaining as the lead agency.
Ano said his office and the National Police Commission will continue to keep a close eye on the PNP to ensure that accusations of human rights violations will be a thing of the past.
“I am reminding our police officers to ensure that your fellow policemen are complying with the new guidelines. I sternly warn against arbitrary and self-serving interpretation of the new policy,” he said.
Ano reiterated his call that double salary means double time in shaping up as an organization.
“I am demanding accountability from our police officers. With the salary increase, they should shape up or ship out. The PNP organization has no room for ingrate scalawags,” he said. DMS