Makati cops conduct 'Tokhang' in Magallanes and Forbes Park

Mike Frialde - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines -- The Makati Police on Monday conducted its "Oplan Tokhang" and information drive against illegal drugs inside the gated villages of Magallanes and Forbes Park.

Assisting the police officers were barangay officials and officers of the homeowners' associations.

During the activity, Makati police gave residents flyers on illegal drugs.

Officers knocked on the doors of 26 houses inside the two villages, the Makati police said. Makati Mayor Mar-Len Abigail "Abby" Binay said the anti-drug drive in the two villages was a good sign and she expects similar door-to-door campaigns to in other exclusive villages as well.

“I commend the barangay leaders and residents of the six villages in the city for weighing in on the ongoing war against drugs. I hope this is the beginning of your sustained cooperation and support to the campaign,” Binay said.

Earlier, Binay appealed to the village officials and residents to allow the police to conduct Oplan Tokhang inside their subdivisions, following a report that only one exclusive village, Magallanes, had permitted the said operation.

"The war against drugs can only be won if we extend our full cooperation with the police, especially in locating known pushers and users in our own backyard,” she said.

In Barangay Forbes Park, Indian Ambassador Ralte Laldhuthlana even invited Barangay Forbes chairperson Evelyn Manotoc, Southern Police District Director Sr. Supt. Tomas Apolinario, and Makati police chief, Supt. Rommil Mitra to come inside his house.

RELATED: Drug war to include posh Makati villages

Prior to the joint information drive, officers of the Makati police, barangay officials and representatives of the homeowners’ associations of the six villages and other stakeholders held a consultation and dialogue in Magallanes.

Liga ng mga Barangay president Councilor Armand Padilla, who is also chairman of Barangay Magallanes, said it was agreed during the meeting that a joint anti-illegal drug information campaign called “Kapit-Bisig Kontra Droga” will be conducted in Barangays Magallanes, Forbes Park, Bel-Air, Dasmariñas, San Lorenzo and Urdaneta.? ?

"For every barangay, the concerned officials and village association representatives shall accompany local police officers in the conduct of house-to-house visits, during which we shall distribute information materials and other relevant advisories,” Padilla said.

?In a letter to village residents, Padilla explained that the house-to-house visits were being conducted by the police so that they can subsequently declare the villages officially “drug-free”.

He also assured them that the joint teams will “take all precautionary measures and steps to minimize, if not totally avoid, any disturbance and discomfort that ‘Oplan Kapit Bisig’ might cause them.”

He noted, however, that any inconvenience would be “a very small price to pay in return for our peace of mind.”

Padilla added that the information drive was their way of proving that “Makati village residents are all law-abiding citizens and are one with the government in its desire to combat illegal drugs and criminality in our country.”

Based on the records of the Makati police, the number of drug surrenderers from 27 barangays as of September 1 has reached 1,289, of which over 200 were identified as pushers. Meanwhile, a total of 108 individuals have been arrested, consisting of 56 users and 52 pushers.

All the six vilages had certified that there were no drug pushers or users in their communities.

The “Kapit Bisig Kontra Droga” was conducted with police operatives led by SPD Director Apolinario and Makati police chief Mitra, together with the respective barangay chairs of Magallanes and Forbes Park, Magallanes Village Association president Luigi Gana, and other officials. 

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