PNP Chief Dela Rosa: Human Rights advocates, Priests are all welcome to join 'Tokhang' Operations

PNP Chief Dela Rosa: Human Rights advocates, Priests are all welcome to join 'Tokhang' Operations

The Philippine National Police is implementing a new version of the government’s anti-drug war campaign.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa has made a call to all parties concern specially to those who have accused the PNP of summary executions in the pursuit of their lawful duties. Dela Rosa has invited all human rights advocates are welcome to join in "Oplan Tokhang" operations. Reiterating that they are not that common thugs who just gun down drug suspects indiscriminately. *

"Well, imbitado sila para makita nila. We are inviting them sumama kayo sa 'Oplan Tokhang' para makita ninyo kung paano namin ginagawa ito, pati mga pari nila iniimbitahan namin kung gusto nilang sumama," he added.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa(photo credit to owner)

The PNP Chief said that they would also request the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to come up with a list of legitimate human rights groups.

"Tingnan natin kung merong accreditation (sila) from the (Commission) Human Rights," he added.

PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos during a press conference with the media clarified that the  said supplemental guidelines for "Oplan Tokhang" are essentially founded on the fundamental principles of respect for human rights and strict adherence to the rule of law, with greater emphasis on transparency, accountability and command responsibility.

"The more salient items in the 12-point guidelines prescribe that 'Rule of Law' shall always prevail during the conduct of all anti-illegal drug related activities including Tokhang activities, and Respect for Human Rights shall be strictly observed at all times,”  The PNP spokesperson said.

The new guidelines in undertaking Tokhang operations shall be intelligence-driven, targeting suspected illegal drug personalities listed by the Directorate for Intelligence.

It is required that police Tokhang teams are in proper PNP uniform, must be led by a police commissioned officer and shall conduct operations from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.  *

"When available, the use of body camera and similar video recording gadgets is highly encouraged in Tokhang operations," Carlos said.

In the documentation of surrenderers, taking of mug shots and fingerprint, is voluntary and should not be mandatory for surrenderers.

The program has been relaunched, PNP has released the new police guidelines on anti-illegal drug operations. Incoming Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) chief Eduardo Año states that the new PNP guidelines have more weight and demands greater accountability.

He vowed that the DILG and the National Police Commission (Napolcom) will be proactive in ensuring that the guidelines are fulfilled with diligence.

“With the issuance of these guidelines, we hope that the police organization will be ably guided as they provide active support to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the anti-illegal drugs campaign,” added Año, who is also the concurrent chair of Napolcom.
Report from PNA

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