“Retooling” of PHL’s anti-illegal drugs campaign in the works after Robredo-PNP meeting

(Eagle News) – A repackaging or “retooling” of the Philippine government’s current anti-illegal drugs campaign is now in the works after the meeting of Vice-President Leni Robredo with the Philippine National Police (PNP)

The “tokhang” operations which had been linked negatively to drug killings will just be “retooled”, but the government’s drug war would not be stopped or removed, officials said.

Ang isa sa kanyang suggestion din is retooling on how we are going to present that word tokhang or probably balance it with another one just to erase the notion that tokhang means death,” said PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa after the recent Inter-Agency Council on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) meeting with Robredo.

Gamboa said Robredo has agreed for the “tokhang” or anti-illegal drugs operations to continue although there should be a way for these operations to be repackaged so that the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign would not only be known by the name “tokhang” alone.

“Sabi ko and she (Robredo) is also convinced that indeed yung tokhang is not (about killing). Bisaya kasi kami. Tokhang came from a Visayan word pero kung titingnan mo talaga yun, there is no killing in tokhang. Di ba? Kasi ‘you ask then you plead,’” Gamboa explained.

He said that there should just be a highlight on the other programs of the present administration on the rehabilitation of drug users and on the efforts focusing on high-value targets.

Over-all, the recent ICAD meeting between Robredo and the PNP had brought good results since both camps agreed that the Philippine government’s fight to stop illegal drugs should continue, the PNP acting chief said.

(with a report from Mar Gabriel, Eagle News Service)