RESIDENTS WELCOME CHANGES
OPLAN ‘Tokhang’ was off to a good start in Dagupan City starting Tuesday as barangay residents who no longer fear policemen knocking on their doors unlike in the past.
This was the observation of P/Superintendent Jandale Sulit, officer-in-charge at the Dagupan City Police Station when the two teams he formed to implement Oplan “Tokhang” (short for the Visayan word “Toktok” and “hangyo” (persuade) started making the rounds in barangays.
Each team, he said, is headed by a police officer accompanied by barangay officials and representatives from the media and religious sectors.
Interviewed by newsmen Wednesday before appearing at a committee hearing of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) as a resource person, Sulit said residents no longer feel apprehensive at the sight of a team implementing “Tokhang”
Sulit said each ‘Tokhang’ group is carrying lists of drug personalities provided by the Police Provincial Office, including those who have not voluntarily surrendered after ‘tokhang’ visits or have not completed their rehabilitation, and newly identified drug personalities.
He said “Oplan Tokhang” will continue till all the drug personalities in the lists are accounted for.
Those in the list must voluntarily surrender and undergo rehabilitation based on the degree of their affectation and if they refuse and still continue with their illegal activities, they will be arrested if caught in either buy-bust or search warrant operations, Sulit said.
He clarified that “Tokhang” teams will not conduct search operations and will simply knock on the doors of suspected drug personalities in the list and will appeal to them to voluntarily surrender.
And, under the guidelines set by PNP, “Tokhang” will be done only from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Mondays – Fridays).
Sulit said the drug personality (user or pusher) who voluntarily surrenders and determined by the City Health Office to be in moderate to extreme degrees of drug affectation after drug testing, will be recommended for treatment in drug rehabilitation centers.
He lauded the city government for its policy to undertake the expenses for the rehabilitation of confirmed drug users who agree to be treated inside the rehab center.
Meanwhile, Sulit confirmed that Dagupan City remains drug-cleared even as operations continue to arrest drug pushers from other places attempting to operate in the city.
He cited the case of Wilberto Castro of Paitan, San Carlos City who was arrested in Malta Village Subdivision in Dagupan City where he was in hiding for three months now.
Castro, who was also tagged as one of the suspects in the slaying of a policeman in San Carlos City, PO2 Jimbo Agtarap, was arrested in an apartment he was renting.
Sulit said that overall, Dagupan City is peaceful but the police have not relaxed their guard and continue to conduct checkpoint operations and police visibility to ensure the peace in the city. (Leonardo Micua)
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