ILOILO City – The Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) directed all police stations to make drop boxes into which the public can discreetly put the names of drug personalities for the police to target.
According to Chief Superintendent Cesar Hawthorne Binag, regional police director, this new strategy is part of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) rebooted Oplan Double Barrel, the national government’s aggressive campaign against illegal drugs.
Only the police chiefs can open the drop boxes and read the notes contained inside, stressed Binag.
He also assured the public that this new strategy won’t be abused and has safeguards.
“All the sensitive information will be validated. There will be thorough counterchecking,” said Binag.
After the information from the boxes has been verified, Binag said, “we will knock (toktok) and appeal (hangyo) the drug personalities to surrender.” Tokhang, which Oplan Double Barrel is more commonly known, is a play on these two Visayan words.
“Kasi mayroong mga takot na malaman na sila nagbigay ng information sa pulis. The drop boxes will make them open up with what they know about the activities of their neighbors,” said Binag.
The identities of persons who gave the information would be kept confidential, he stressed.
During a visit here on Aug. 14, PNP’s Director General Ronald Dela Rosa urged the PRO-6 to “step up” and “double-time” in the antidrug drive.
A total of 1,915 drug personalities have been arrested and 20,598 surrendered in Western Visayas since July last year after the launching of Oplan Double Barrel. But Dela Rosa was not impressed.
“Mababa ang drug personalities n’yo na nag-surrender or nahuli. Dagdagan nyo pa,” he told Western Visayas policemen during a program marking the 116th Police Service Anniversary in Camp Delgado.
In this new “drop box strategy”, Binag hoped to get the support of the Church, too. He suggested that police chiefs set up boxes in churches.
Only the police chiefs and parish priests should have access to the boxes’ contents, he said.
In the 1,354 antidrug operations of the PRO-6 since July last year, 1,915 drug suspects were arrested and of these, 150 were considered high-value targets.
The operations also resulted to the death of 31 drug suspects. These casualties resisted arrested, according to the PRO-6.
Dela Rosa told Western Visayas policemen not to be afraid of drug lords and criminals. He also urged local officials to help the police./PN