Issue of February 4, 2018
Mt. Province

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Religious heads, media to join Oplan Tokhang in La Trinidad
by Ofelia C. Empian

With the nationwide activation of the revived war on drugs, priests, pastors, media and various stakeholders will now accompany the police during the conduct of Oplan Tokhang.

C/Insp. Benson Macli-ing, La Trinidad Municipal Police Station chief, said the stakeholders who will accompany them would see to it that the Oplan Tokhang is properly conducted.

He said the new guidelines in implementing the war on drugs released by the Philippine National Police provide that two units, the municipal Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) and the “tokhangers” or cops with good background on public community relations, will be responsible in carrying out the program.

He said the DEU will be the enforcement arm of the program and will be the one conducting arrests and buy-bust operations in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

The “tokhangers” shall be the unit responsible for knocking at the doors of those in the drug list and who will talk with and profile these individuals.

The revamped war on drugs will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

Macli-ing said they already had initial talks with the various barangay officials who were furnished with the list of former drug offenders who surrendered earlier in their respective areas.

Profiled individuals will be referred to the Department of Health for appropriate intervention. Drug users with severe cases will be referred to the DOH for intervention while not so severe cases will still be evaluated by the DOH on the proper interventions to be given to them.  

“We have been monitoring our previous list. So far we have not monitored any new users,” he said.

Previously, the La Trinidad police logged 236 former drug offenders, who underwent the series of drug reformation activities of the police with the local government unit.

“But with the conduct of random drug tests, some of them turned out positive. When we interviewed them, they said during their vacation they met their old friends who influenced them into using drugs once more,” he said.

He said they are continuously monitoring the different barangays, particularly those in the main thoroughfares of the town.

“Since the town is already drug-cleared, we need to make sure it stays that way,” he said.

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