The return of Tokhang

OPLAN Tokhang, a component of the Double Barrel strategy of the Philippine National Police, was controversial as it was effective in creating the impact necessary to more than nip the illegal trade in the bud.

It was controversial because a couple of trigger-happy cops thought shooting the bad guys who ignored ‘tokhang’ (law enforcers visiting known drug personalities in their homes) was the right thing to do, and that it was all right for the Big Boss Duterte.

Well, they thought wrong because PDU30 had the murderous lot charged in court.

We, therefore, welcome the announcement of the plan to return Oplan Tokhang with improved tactics because without it, communities that have been declared drug-free will have serious difficulty in maintaining their status. Unless law enforcers continue strike fear in the hearts of criminal drug lords, pushers and users, families will continue to be at risk.

Tokhang serves the plight of known and emerging drug personalities as well because when they are visited by law enforcers, they are duly warned that they face arrest if they continue with their illegal livelihood or habit.

What communities, however, can do is to be vigilant in reporting drug activities in their areas and at the same time monitor if drug raiders are complying with new tactics, i.e., presence of barangay official, wearing of body camera, etc.

Charter change first

WITH federalism now being vigorously pushed by President Duterte’s subalterns, the air is pregnant with debate over whether or not federalism should replace our unitary form of government.  In the Senate hearing on federalism Wednesday last, eminent resource persons gave us more than a piece of their minds in discoursing on what is now arguably considered as the hottest political topic gripping the nation today.  Almost all the 23 senators were present in the forum that also gathered several legal eagles.  There was a strong sentiment that the Constitution must first be amended if federalism should become the heart and soul of the new Charter.  Altering the Constitution is a tedious, strenuous and protracted process, with the people’s voice as the final referee that will either accept or reject the final draft through a national referendum. There is no other way.

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