‘Tokhangers’ to be armed with Bibles, rosaries

Non Alquitran - The Philippine Star
âTokhangersâ to be armed with Bibles, rosaries

Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte and National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde lead the conduct of Oplan Tokhang along Pitong Gatang street in Barangay Batasan yesterday. Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — A Bible and a rosary will greet drug pushers and users when police drug enforcers or “tokhangers” implementing Oplan Tokhang visit their homes in eastern Metro Manila, a police official said yesterday.

Eastern Police District (EPD) director Chief Supt. Reynaldo Biay expressed confidence that upon seeing the Bible and rosary, the person subjected to Oplan Tokhang (knock and plead) would not resist arrest but instead go peacefully with the police.

“The Bible and rosary would greatly help our efforts to convince drug pushers and users to surrender peacefully,” said Biay, who warned his men not to use force in dealing with pushers and users.

“We should use diplomacy to prevent a bloody confrontation,” he said.

The EPD director launched yesterday the return of Oplan Tokhang in Barangay San Joaquin in Pasig City in the presence of local officials, religious leaders and reporters to convince drug pushers and users to reform.

According to Biay, the police stations of the cities of San Juan, Marikina, Pasig and Mandaluyong and their respective police community precincts (PCPs) would create their own Tokhang teams to deal with drug pushers and users in their areas of responsibility.

“They are the ones who know the identities of the drug pushers and users so they would be in the forefront of our fight against illegal drugs,” Biay said, noting that their list of drug personalities is being provided by the Directorate for Intelligence (DI) of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Biay and Senior Supt. Orlando Yebra Jr., Pasig City police chief, attended the relaunching of Oplan Tokhang in Barangay San Joaquin.

In Marikina City, Senior Supt. Roger Quesada, Marikina police chief, visited the houses of Rommel Santiago, Gilmore Tuazon, Emilion Concepcion Sr. and his son Emilio Jr., a relative Amado Concepcion and a certain Allan Bakla, who all promised to stop their vices and reject illegal drugs.

Initially, the DI of the PNP listed 217 drug personalities in Barangay Calumpang but the number was reduced to 190 because some of the pushers and users have been killed in the previous anti-drug campaign, while others are serving sentence in various jails, said Insp. Eljerick Nicolas, head of the PCP 1 that has jurisdiction over the village.

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