MANILA - The police chief of a drug-free city with no recorded death under government's fierce anti-drug campaign was recently named among The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of 2017.
Supt. Byron Allatog, chief of the Bogo City Police, was honored for his outstanding leadership in clearing the city of illegal drugs without shedding blood.
In an earlier interview, Allatog said that as a devout Catholic and an Igorot, his faith and culture do not condone killings.
"Kapag may napatay kami, kailangan akong umuwi sa amin kasi kakatay kami ng apat na baboy. Pagdadasalan pa nila doon," he shared.
Allatog said his men were still allowed to use force if under threat. But it has not been necessary, as none of the drug suspects taken in by city police had resisted arrest.
The city's achievement was a feat amid the spate of deaths earlier seen in other parts of the country.
Amid criticism over unexplained deaths, the government has repeatedly defended the anti-drug campaign and asserted that it does not sanction summary killings or condone police abuses.
Officials have earlier explained that those slain in drug operations were suspects who fired first at pursuing officers.
Allatog joined seven other TOYM 2017 awardees in the annual honors: ABS-CBN News correspondent Chiara Zambrano (Journalism and Mass Communication), Olympian Hidilyn Diaz (Sports), Cirilo Javier (Arts and Music), Eugenio Mende (Veterinary Medicine), Ronald Reyes (Education), Jason Roy Sibug (Community Development), and Mark Anthony Torres (Government Service Education).
The TOYM award is conferred by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines on individuals who have demonstrated "outstanding leadership and excellence" and contributed to "the cause of humanity" in his or her field. -- With reports from Joworski Alipon, ABS-CBN News