Bato dela Rosa vows Oplan Tokhang 2 if elected president

Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Monday vowed to retain President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs known as “Oplan Tokhang” should he get elected in May 2022.

The former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and who became the chief implementor of the Duterte government’s anti-illegal drug campaign, clarified however, that the “Oplan Tokhang” is different from the extrajudicial killings (EJKs).

“Of course, that will continue. But of course, we are not playing deaf to the suggestions, recommendations on how to make it work very good,” Dela Rosa said in a virtual interview when asked if there would be an “Oplan Tokhang” part two should he win the presidency.

“That means, we’ll adjust to the changing doesn’t mean that when you say you will continue this, we won’t make any adjustments. Of course there would be, because we are listening to the pulse of the people,” Dela Rosa said.

At the same time, the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) candidate of the Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi group, insisted that the intention of “Oplan Tokhang” was very noble.

“The problem is that many people equated ‘Tokhang’ to EJKs. When you say ‘Tokhang’, people immediately think of EJK. That’s wrong thinking; ‘Tokhang’ is different from EJK,” he said.

Dela Rosa said that should he maintain the “Oplan Tokhang” he would pursue the wearing of body cameras for law enforcement officials to avoid abuses and provide protection to PNP operating personnel from harassment.

The senator also said he is aware that while campaigning for the continuation of the war on drugs would have a negative effect on his campaign, he believes majority of the Filipinos would agree for its continuation.

“If you look at the surveys, more Filipinos are happy at the government’s drug war, than they are against it. It can be a plus or negative point for me. Those who are against the war on drugs won’t vote for me, and those who are happy about it, will vote for me. It’s up to the people,” he said.

Dela Rosa, who is also one of the government officials charged for crimes against humanity, reiterated he is ready to face the accusations against him before the International Criminal Court (ICC).