Policemen distribute flyers detailing the dangers of drug addiction during the “Oplan Tokhang” conducted in Marikina City. The STAR/Edd Gumban, File photo

QCPD to implement ‘Oplan Tokhang' drop box
(Philstar.com) - October 10, 2017 - 9:17am

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City Police District is set to implement the “Oplan Tokhang" drop box in several barangays in the city.

According to QCPD Director Chief Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar, the police force will distribute the drop box to 142 barangays in Quezon City to hasten the information gathering from residents which will help the administration’s anti-illegal drug campaign. However, he clarified that the information provided would remain confidential.

“We are encouraging community participation. We need intelligence monitoring and the residents themselves know the people in their neighborhood. The information gathered would only be for case buildup and if we don’t have evidence, we cannot make an arrest.” Eleazar said in a report by Pilipino Star Ngayon.

The drop box is made of blue fiberglass bearing logos of the police department, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Interior and Local Government, local government units and other government agencies.

The DILG earlier issued Memorandum Circular 2017-2012 dated August 29 directing local government units to set up drop boxes that will enable the public to anonymously report alleged drug abusers and other criminals.

PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa welcomed the memorandum and assured the public that all tips provided in the drop boxes will be verified.

The National Union of People’s Lawyers and the human rights group Karapatan slammed the proposed “dropbox” system.

READ: Groups hit DILG’s drug drop box

“Anyone can invent, manufacture, recycle or abuse unvetted information to the prejudice especially of ordinary law-abiding citizens and even critics and dissenters,” NUPL president Edre Olalia was quoted saying.

Karaptan, on the other hand, said the dropbox will “neither solve crime, neither solve crime, ensure security of citizens nor will it address the roots of rebellion in the country.”

DILG OIC-Secretary Catalino Uy defended the dropbox system saying it is not intended to fish for names of alleged drug suspects but to elicit suggestions to help the government’s drive against illegal drugs, criminality, corruption and violent extremism.

“The drop boxes are not for fishing out information. They are there for feedback because we want the public to be involved in our efforts,” Cuy said.

“Of course, all the information given through the drop box will have to be checked, validated and verified. There is going to be a process in handling these. We won’t take everything hook, line and sinker,” he added. — Rosette Adel

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