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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pushers, users have until July 31 to surrender - PNP

By Dominic I. Sanchez
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Drug users and pushers are given a deadline until July 31 only to surrender to the police to avoid being tracked down and arrested, or killed should they resist and fight back.

“You have until July 31 to surrender,” said Police Superintendent Rogelio Alabata, spokesperson of Police Regional Office 9 (PRO-9) yesterday. Alabata said that the deadline was specified by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

Since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte assumed office, over 20,000 drug surrenderees have been tallied in the Zamboanga Peninsula region alone. Alabata expects this number to rise.

“The police are employing a two-front approach in the fight against illegal drugs,” Alabata said. These approaches are Oplan Tokhang (Tok-tok Hangyo) and another approach for High Value Targets (HVT). 

“In Oplan Tokhang, police literally knock on the doors of these pushers and users, and we politely ask them to surrender,” Alabata explained. The police conduct these visits house to house, with the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC).

The Oplan is done with the following procedures: collecting of information on the said drug user/pusher; coordination with the BADAC, the house-to-house visits, validation, and the monitoring of the suspects after they surrender.

However, it was learned that there is still no program for the surenderees. Alabata emphasized the need for inter-agency coordination to develop a viable and reliable program to prevent the users from going back to the drug life.

“We need everyone’s help, especially the communities. Please inform us of drug users and pushers that you know of in your barangays. We are saving their lives,” he said.