PDEA: Drop ‘Tokhang,’ ‘Double Barrel’
(The Philippine Star) - December 11, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — The head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has suggested that the slogans “Oplan Tokhang” and “Oplan Double Barrel” be dropped from the government’s war on drugs because of their negative connotations.

PDEA director general Aaron Aquino said while the word “tokhang” in Bisaya means to “knock and plead,” the term has taken on a derogatory connotation as the public equates it with the killing of suspected drug pushers and users.

“The connotation of tokhang among the majority of the masses is killing. Do you want to be subjected to tokhang? It means do you want to get killed. That’s why we have to stop using the term,” Aquino explained in Filipino.

“I suggest no more slogans, no more double barrels. These are just plain buy-bust operations. It is only my suggestion. It is still up to the PNP if they want to continue (using the slogans)… The PNP is in a bad light because of tokhang,” he added. 

Aquino said this might be the right time to drop the slogans, which will give a fresh start to acting Interior Secretary Catalino Cuy and the incoming leader of the PNP, Deputy Director General Ramon Apolinario.

PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa will retire in January 2018.

The original bloody war on drugs was named Oplan Tokhang. When it was relaunched, it was renamed Oplan Double Barrel.

The police visited more than 8.8 million homes of drug suspects from July 1, 2016 to October 2017 under Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Double Barrel.

Cops knocked on the suspects’ doors and pleaded to them to surrender. But hundreds of suspects ended up getting killed in police operations and vigilante killings, mostly for allegedly fighting back.

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