MANILA, Oct 11 (Mabuhay) — Former National Police chief and now Senator Ronald dela Rosa said he will continue the administration’s “Oplan Tokhang“ should he be elected as president in Eleksyon 2022.

In a virtual interview, Dela Rosa maintained that Oplan Tokhang, which was his brainchild when he was still a police officer in Davao City, has a “noble intention” and should not be equated to extrajudicial killings (EJK).

“Yes, I will continue that dahil alam kong very noble ang intention ng (because I believe in the noble intention of) Oplan Tokhang,” Dela Rosa, the architect of the Duterte administration’s drug war, told reporters.

Dela Rosa reiterated that Oplan tokhang means toktok hangyo or knock and plead.

“Katukin ang drug adict at pakiusapan na huminto na sa kanilang ginagawa. Karamihan ng tao dito, ineequate ninyo ang tokhang sa EJK. ’Pag sinabing tokhang, EJK kaagad ang iniisip ninyo. Mali po yung iniisip niyo. Tokhang is different from EJK,” the senator said.

Body cams

If Oplan Tokhang continues, Dela Rosa said body-worn cameras should be required in all anti-drug operations.

“Pagsusuot (wearing of ) strictly ng body-worn camera to avoid abuses and to provide protection to our operating personnel from harassment,” he said when asked about possible changes in tokhang operations.

After President Rodrigo Duterte was elected in 2016, then-PNP chief Dela Rosa implemented Oplan Tokhang as part of the Oplan Double Barrel.

Many drug personalities surrendered in ‘tokhang’ operations but there were deaths as authorities claimed the suspects resisted arrest and fought back.

Government critics claim the number of deaths have reached 20,000 but police there were only over 5,000. Both international and local human rights groups have condemned the killings.

In September this year, the International Criminal Court (ICC) authorized the start of its investigation into the killings in the Philippines’ war on drugs.

Malacañang, however, maintained that ICC has no jurisdiction over the Philippines.

Duterte recently said he will prepare for his defense for the ICC investigation on his war on drugs after he steps down from office in 2022. (MNS)

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