After the Philippine National of Police (PNP) have declared the relaunch of the anti-drug campaign operations or most commonly known as “Oplan Tokhang”, Malacanang assured the public that there would be no extrajudicial killings.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. stressed that the extrajudicial killings (EJKs) “never had — and will never have — a place in the anti-illegal drug campaign.”
President Duterte has since then delegated the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency after suspending the police’s bloody anti-drug raids. The PDEA was assigned to carry out anti-narcotic operations, following concerns over the alarming and rising death toll of alleged drug suspects.
However, the president has ordered again the PNP to join the PDEA on the crackdown of the illegal drugs as he feared the worsening state of the drug problem. The PNP reported that there was no bloodshed on the first day of the re-implementation of Oplan Tokhang. It also noted that around 563 drug suspects voluntarily surrendered during the conduct of anti-drug operations.
United States (US) drug official from the State Department said the Trump administration would support the Philippines’ fight against illicit drugs, especially now that there are signs of fewer extrajudicial killings of drug suspects.
“We are aware that the police are continuing the resumption of their operations. Many folks have been tracking the EJKs (extrajudicial killings) in the Philippines and the trends are going down,” US Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement James Walsh said.
Roque stated that the Duterte administration appreciates the growing support from other countries as it continues its efforts “anchored on respect for human rights” to address the drug menace. He also mentioned that the administration was optimistic that the PNP’s fight against narcotics would yield positive results.
“The significant strides of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the conduct of anti-drug operations have been noteworthy with dens and clandestine laboratories dismantled and drugs seized with fewer drug-related deaths,” he said.
“The significant strides of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the conduct of anti-drug operations have been noteworthy with dens and clandestine laboratories dismantled and drugs seized with fewer drug-related deaths,” he said. “We are confident that the re-launch of the Philippine National Police Operation Tokhang would have similar results. This early, there have been hundreds of surrenderees and no casualty on its first day,” he added.