There would be no scrapping of the police's controversial anti-drug strategy Oplan Tokhang but only a "retooling," according to Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Police Lieutenant General Archie Francisco Gamboa on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters, Gamboa said this was the agreement reached between the national police and Vice President Leni Robredo, the newly-appointed co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD), during their meeting earlier in the day.
“We were able to convince her, meron lang probably repackaging or retooling on how it’s going to be presented pero she is convinced that indeed the Philippine Anti-Drug Strategy is already a strategy that can be adapted outright,” Gamboa said.
“So ‘yun lang... letting the people feel the existence of strategy.”
Oplan Tokhang, the police’s knock-and-plead strategy of convincing suspected drug personalities to stop using illegal drugs, has earned notoriety as it is being linked to the high number of drug suspects killed in the government's intensified anti-narcotics campaign.
According to Gamboa, Robredo pointed out three things that need focus on the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.
“‘Yung going forward, second is measuring success and coming up with unified figures. All of these things are addressed already by ICAD even before,” he said.
“It’s just a matter of letting her understand that these things have already existed.”
In general, Gamboa said the meeting with Robredo went well.
“She is convinced after studying the Tokhang, Double Barrel, Double Barrel Alpha Reloaded and now the community-based... ‘All are in order,’ were her exact words,” Gamboa said.
Earlier, the Palace expressed openness to Robredo’s supposed plan of changing the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Robredo had said she will push for zero killings in the drug war, noting that the success of the campaign will not be measured by the number of killed drug suspects. —KBK, GMA News