Nightmares of 'Tokhang': PNP return to drug war ill-advised, says lawmaker

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 30 2017 01:11 PM

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A Filipino politician on Thursday said allowing the Philippine National Police to take back the lead in the Duterte administration's war on drugs could lead to more bloodshed.

"I really really hope [President Rodrigo Duterte] doesn't pursue that action. Very ill-advised. It would be a return to the nightmares of tokhang and extrajudicial killings. I think the first task of the PNP now...is to cleanse its ranks of those who have been guilty of these killings," Sen. Risa Hontiveros said in an interview on ANC's Early Edition.

Hontiveros said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency is doing a good job taking the lead in the drug war by capturing "billions of pesos of these drugs without any killings."

She also praised the Senate version of the 2018 national budget, describing it as a "tokhang-free" budget that allots more funds for social protection including housing for police personnel.

Duterte issued on October 10 a memorandum circular ordering the 2,000-strong PDEA to take the lead in the anti-drug campaign just as the roughly 175,000-strong PNP faced allegations of abuse in the drug war.

This prompted the PNP to terminate the controversial "Oplan Tokhang," its house-to-house knock and plead operations against drug suspects. It said it would shift to cleansing its ranks and addressing other crimes.

ANC, November 30, 2018