By Aaron Recuenco
The police’s ‘Tokhang’ operations will be re-directed and this time, it will be targeting barangay officials.
Director General Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said yesterday that barangay officials, and even mayors, will be the subject of their tokhang (knock and plead) operations in a move to intensify the campaign against narco-politicians.
“We are doing this so that people in the barangays would know, and they know, who among in their communities are involved in illegal drugs,” said dela Rosa.
The move to include barangay officials, he said, is a response to the complaints of local residents as to why the anti-illegal drugs operations spare barangay officials.
It was recalled that since the war on drugs started in July 2016, it is the barangay officials who have been providing the police the list of suspected drug personalities in their areas.
The list led to knock and plead operations, forcible surrender of the drug personalities and even deaths of suspected drug personalities either in police operations or those perpetrated by alleged vigilante groups.
Later, President Duterte disclosed that there are a lot of barangay officials who are into illegal drugs trade.
“They have been complaining on why the barangay officials are spared because they themselves know that their barangay officials are involved in illegal drugs,” said dela Rosa.
“So let us be fair with them. We will also include mayors if they are really involved,” he added.
At least two mayors were already killed since the war on drugs started—Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa and Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog.
Dela Rosa said the anti-drugs operations will continue and intensify until the government addressed the illegal drugs problems in the country, adding that they need to continue to sustain the momentum on the campaign.
In Mindanao, dela Rosa said the top performer is Central Mindanao while Central Visayas region is the leading police regional office in the Visayas.
Dela Rosa earlier vowed to campaign against barangay officials who are involved in the illegal drugs trade ahead of the barangay elections in May this year.