PNP Region 7 head sees nothing wrong with continued implementation of ‘Oplan Tokhang’

Published November 15, 2019, 4:01 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Genalyn Kabiling 

A police general has found nothing wrong with the implementation of the “Oplan Tokhang,” the administration’s controversial strategy in carrying out the war on drugs.


Police Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, new head of the Police Regional Office-7, said they will continue to implement the anti-narcotics operation until it is formally halted by the police leadership.

De Leon issued the statement after Vice President Leni Robredo floated the possible scrapping of the police operation related to the anti-drug crackdown amid its negative perception that it was all about killings. Under Oplan Tokhang, policemen visit the houses of suspected drug personalities and seek their surrender.

“May intensyon pa lang si drug czar natin ‘no. Until we receive a direct order from our high headquarters, following the chain of command, siguro doon tayo ano,” De Leon said in an interview with reporters at the Palace.

“But meantime, there’s nothing wrong with the Tokhang naman. We want to ensure that those who were in the list are no longer engaged in illegal drugs,” he said.

Robredo, new co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), earlier called for a review of Oplan Tokhang as she sought an end to the “senseless killings” in the war on drugs. She noted that the Oplan Tokhang campaign has been associated with the deaths of drug suspects and other alleged police abuses. The police force is reportedly amenable to retooling of Oplan Tokhang.

Malacañang recently said it was open to the scrapping of Oplan Tokhang if Robredo can come up with a better strategy to combat the illegal drug trade.

President Duterte has designated Robredo as the country’s new anti-drug czar after she criticized his alleged failed war on drugs. He has given Robredo a free rein to lead the war, but the two leaders have yet to meet to discuss her scope of powers and functions.