PNP open to reviewing, improving  'Oplan Tokhang'
Vice President Leni Robredo met with the Law Enforcement Cluster of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), held at the Quezon City Reception House on Thursday, November 14, 2019.
OVP/Charlie Villegas
PNP open to reviewing, improving 'Oplan Tokhang'
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - November 14, 2019 - 2:53pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police agreed to reassess "Oplan Tokhang" upon the request of Vice President Leni Robredo.

Robredo, recently designated as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, met with the panel's Law Enforcement cluster Thursday.

In their meeting, the vice president reiterated her call to rethink the government's anti-narcotics campaign, particularly Oplan Tokhang, where police officers visit the homes of suspected drug personalities and urge them to surrender.

"They agreed and they promised to assess and come up with a... with an improved version of what we already have," Robredo told reporters.

Robredo said she told Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP OIC, and other officials that Tokhang has gained a negative connotation.

"If you read Project Double Barrel, it is well-planned, but obviously, there are gaps as there have been abuses on how it was implemented," Robredo said in mixed Filipino and English.

The police officials agreed with her that it was time to reassess the campaign in such a way that it will not be against the people, the vice president said.

Baselines needed

On issues of law enforcement, Robredo said they also agreed to set clear baselines on the campaign.

"What we are asking for is baselines, we will start with the list — those lists that started in 2016; how many of them have surrendered; how many were arrested; of those surrendered—surrenderers and arrested— what is the disposition on them; how many were charged; what is the status of the case; how many are recommended for rehabilitation," Robredo said.

After getting clear baselines, the ICAD will assess which of the methods in the drug war worked and which did not.

The next step would be havving common metrics in the campaign, the vice president said.

Robredo said she requested to make the campaign outcomes-oriented and make this the strategy of the agencies concerned in the drug war.

"I also suggested that instead of saying we will have a drug-free Philippines in 2022, we will have small-term and medium-term goals... so it would be achievable," she said.

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