'Tokhang' awaits celebs in Duterte's drug list - PNP chief

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 26 2016 11:02 AM

MANILA - No one is exempted from the government's relentless war on illicit drugs -- even top personalities from the show business industry, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa guaranteed Monday.

While the PNP has yet to receive President Duterte's supposed list of suspected illicit drug peddlers and users, Dela Rosa said celebrities identified there will be subjected to Oplan Tokhang, a police strategy of literally knocking on the doors of suspected criminals.

"'Pag ibinigay sa akin ng Presidente iyung listahan na iyun, i-Tokhang natin sila [Once the President gives me the list, we will subject them to Tokhang]," he said.

"I-Tokhang natin sa kani-kanilang bahay, kanya-kanyang TV station, 'surrender na kayo kasi identified kayo na drug user [We'll hold Tokhang at their homes, TV stations and tell them to surrender because they have been identified as drug users]."

Dela Rosa also argued that there is no reason for celebrities to be exempted from the drug operations, which have covered even residents of posh villages.

"Tinokhang nga natin iyung mga high-end na subdivisions, sila pa na public figures sila [We conducted Tokhang operations at high-end subdivisions, why should they be exempted when they are public figures]. They should be open to the public, huwag nila lokohin," he added.

Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption chairman Martin Diño claimed Sunday that at least 50 celebrities are included in Duterte's drug list.

Malacañang, however, could not immediately confirm Diño's claim.

"Wala po akong direktang knowledge diyan sa sinasabi na merong umanong listahan sa mga celebrities na sangkot sa ilegal na droga [I have no direct knowledge about the alleged list of celebrities involved in illegal drugs]," Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Sunday.

"Alamin po natin sa [We'll confirm with the] Philippine National Police."