Tokhang chosen as Filipino word of the year
The Salita ng Taon 2018 was named during the “Sawikaan 2018: Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Salita ng Taon” at the University of the Philippines-Diliman attended by academicians and students.
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Tokhang chosen as Filipino word of the year
Ghio Ong (The Philippine Star) - October 27, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — “Tokhang,” code name of the anti-illegal drug campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP), which has claimed the lives of thousands of drug suspects, was chosen as “Salita ng Taon” or Filipino word of the year for 2018 yesterday.

The Salita ng Taon 2018 was named during the “Sawikaan 2018: Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Salita ng Taon” at the University of the Philippines-Diliman attended by academicians and students.

The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), Filipinas Institute of Translation (FIT) and UP chose the entries for word of the year based on popular media lexicon and other submissions.

Operation Tokhang, a combination of Visayan words “toktok” (to knock) and “hangyo” (to plead) and used as a program by former PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa to convince drug offenders to surrender, bested 10 other words or phrases for the recognition this year: Dengvaxia, DDS, dilawan, fake news, federalismo, foodie, quo warranto, resibo, TRAIN and troll.

KWF chairman Virgilio Almario said the selection of “tokhang” as word of the year was a manifestation that “people were able to digest the word and the violence that came with it.”

“They were even able to laugh at it… by making jokes at it, people would think that it just became part of their lives, and that it would transcend and could be even corrected,” he told The STAR.

He said that “tokhang” became a tragic part of history (talagang napakasamang bahagi ng karanasan ng sambayanan) and that making fun of the word meant that people would not want it to happen again.

Writer Mark Angeles described the word “tokhang” as something that is “double-faced… smiling but appalling, seeker of justice but blind and vicious.” 

“Tokhang” originated from the program “Toktok Hangyo sa Kabalayan sa mga Suspected Drug Pusher” that Dela Rosa started when he was still chief of the Davao City police, he noted.

The program gained traction, reaching depressed areas, schools, subdivisions and even vehicles, he added.

After President Duterte appointed Dela Rosa as PNP chief in 2016, Command Memorandum Circular 16-2016 was issued implementing “Oplan Tokhang” on a national scale.

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE TOKHANG WAR ON DRUGS
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