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‘Tokhang’ cuts NCR crime rate down to unprecedented levels —Albayalde

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 1/13/2018 Gorgonio, Luis
Over a hundred alleged drug users and pushers voluntarily turned themselves in to the Quezon City Police District in Camp Karingal on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, amid the ongoing crackdown on illegal drug syndicates inspired by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's tough stance against crime. Police said the surrenderees will undergo drug testing and fingerprint verification. GMA News © GMA News Over a hundred alleged drug users and pushers voluntarily turned themselves in to the Quezon City Police District in Camp Karingal on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, amid the ongoing crackdown on illegal drug syndicates inspired by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's tough stance against crime. Police said the surrenderees will undergo drug testing and fingerprint verification. GMA News

National Capital Region Police Chief Director Oscar Albayalde on Saturday claimed that the “unprecedented” lowering of crime rate in Metro Manila in recent months was largely to the government’s "Oplan Tokhang."

Albayalde told Super Radyo dzBB that robbery incidents in Metro Manila decreased by 34 percent, theft by 41 percent, and car theft (especially in Quezon City) by almost 50 percent.

“Unprecedented po ito, sa buong Pilipinas at saka dito sa Metro Manila, lahat po ng crimes against properties, lalo na ‘yung robbery, hold-up natin, bumaba po ‘yan, kung [i]-compare natin...malaking baba po ‘yan nung nag-start tayo ng Tokhang natin...,” he said.

“Malaking bagay po ‘yan, dahil tama po ‘yung sinabi ng ating Pangulo na ‘yung ibang crimes, or most of the crimes committed, are drug-related,” he added.

He corrected the mislabeling of Tokhang as the culprit of the thousands of deaths in the anti-illegal drugs operations by the police. 

No one is killed during "Tokhang," a portmanteau of Cebuano words for “knock and plead” (knock on doors of suspects and convince them to surrender), Albayalde explained.

Most of the thousands of drug suspects' deaths happened during anti-narcotics police actions, especially during “buy-bust operations."

"Wala pong namatay sa Tokhang, 'yung namatay sa police operations ay dahil sa buy-bust operations 'yan," he said.

Also, he pointed out that surrendering does not mean a drug user is removed from the drug watch list, because not all of those who surrendered have stayed away from illegal drugs.

“[A]kala po nila, pag nag-surrender na, okay na. Hindi po ganun ‘yun,” he told Super Radyo dzBB.

The Philippine National Police is reportedly relaunching “Oplan Tokhang” in January, shortly after it resumed its role in the government’s war against drugs, which the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency still leads.

Cases of drug suspects' deaths have subsided after the PDEA took the lead in the campaign against illegal drugs.

Data from the PNP as of September 2017 show that 3,850 people have died during anti-narcotics police operations since July 2016.

More than 2,000 others perished in “drug-related deaths,” while 85 cops and soldiers were killed in action in the same period, according to PNP figures. —LBG, GMA News

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