The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has temporarily suspended its Oplan Tokhang operations as Metro Manila cops focus on the government’s measures in preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), its chief said on Tuesday.
At a press briefing, however, Police Major General Debold Sinas said NCRPO cops will continue to focus on hunting high value targets.
“Wala po muna 'yung Oplan Tokhang. We [are] already momentarily silent [on] that kasi we focus sa quarantine and buy-bust ng high value targets,” Sinas said.
“Kasi nga kung nasa loob ka, wala kang makuhang supply sa loob ng bahay mo. Wala kaming inimplement na tokhang since nag-umpisa 'yung quarantine noong March 15,” he added.
Oplan Tokhang is the police’s knock-and-plead strategy of convincing drug suspects to stop using illegal drugs.
Sinas also bared that the crime rate in Metro Manila had decreased since the community quarantine was implemented by the government.
“Actually sobrang baba... bumaba ang crime natin, bumaba ang operations namin,” Sinas said.
President Rodrigo Duterte initially placed Metro Manila under community quarantine as Code Red Sub-Level 2 was raised over the virus.
Days after, he placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine due to the continuing increase on the number of COVID-19 cases. This means stricter control points to contain the spread of the disease.
The Philippines already have 187 confirmed cases, with 12 deaths.