PHILIPPINES — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will resume conducting operations against illegal drugs after the creation of the PNP Drug Enforcement Agency (P-DEG) which replaces the now defunct Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG).
The new police unit applies not only on the national level, but also on the regional, provincial and municipal levels.
Knocking on doors of suspected drug personalities under the Project Tokhang of the Oplan Double Barrel Alpha Reloaded will also resume under the new campaign.
However, PNP Chief PDG Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said the chief of police, as well as territorial heads like barangay chairmen and religious leaders will participate during the door-to-door knockings.
He added that this would help avoid violence during Oplan Tokhang operations.
“Para lalabas na mas credible itong ating kampanya, makikiusap tayo sa ating kaparian ba tulungan tayo (To make our campaign more credible, we will be asking priests to help us,” said PNP Chief Dela Rosa.
“Ikaw ba naman na drug personality pag kinatok ang bahay mo at pagsilip mo ay andoon ang cop, kapitan at pari siguro lalambot ang puso mo na magbago ka na o magpa rehab ka,” he added.
(If you were the drug personality, somebody knocks on your door and you see a cop, a barangay chief and a priest, it will probably move you to consider turning over a new leaf and going to rehab.)
The police chief also assures that they have thoroughly chosen those who will be part of P-DEG, which will be led by PSSupt. Graciano Mijares, the former deputy regional director for administration of Central Luzon.
“He’s from Mindanao. He’s focused on anti-organized crime. So he’s a veteran in the war against kidnappers and druglords in Mindanao. He had been shot several times, so he’s no longer afraid to die,” said Dela Rosa.
With the re-launch of the PNP’s fight against illegal drugs, the agency is optimistic about succeeding in the new anti-drug operation as there are now available rehabilitation centers for drug surrenderers.
Local government units also vow to help surrenders with non-serious conditions by having them undergo various activities. While those with serious drug addiction will be confined in a drug rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija.
“This time after 8 months almost all local units have already established their rehab programs that will cater those who are willing to undergo rehab. Those with serious drug addiction we can refer them to Nueva Ecija. In other places where the LGU is weak, the PNP will shoulder the said program,” explained the PNP Chief.
In the 1.2 million recorded drug users across the country within 8 months, 90% of them do not have serious drug addiction, and thus, can be treated through community-based rehabilitation programs. — Lea Ylagan | UNTV News and Rescue
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