3 city hall work­ers named in ‘tokhang’ drop box

Panay News - - FRONT PAGE - By Glenda Sologastoa

ILOILO City – The “tokhang” drop box at city hall so far con­tained the names of three city gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees sus­pected to be in­volved in il­le­gal drugs.

Ac­cord­ing to Act­ing Mayor Jose Espinosa III

yes­ter­day, the in­for­ma­tion about the three em­ploy­ees were be­ing ver­i­fied.

The three would also be asked to un­dergo drug tests, he added.

Espinosa said he would is­sue an ex­ec­u­tive or­der on the pro­cesses that the city gov­ern­ment would take rel­a­tive to this drop box an­tidrug scheme.

The drop box at the city hall lobby is sim­i­lar to the ones that the Po­lice Re­gional Of­fice 6 (PRO-6) or­dered placed in po­lice sta­tions across Western Visayas.

Espinosa thought of hav­ing one at city hall af­ter a ca­sual em­ployee was ar­rested with 11 oth­ers in a po­lice an­tidrug oper­a­tion in Barangay San Jose, Arevalo district on Sept. 13. Noel Uy, 37, of Barangay Gen­eral Hughes-Montes, City Proper was a mem­ber of the Iloilo City An­ti­Smok­ing Task Force.

City hall chief of se­cu­rity Felix Muchada has been tasked to mon­i­tor the drop box.

“If the val­i­da­tion team is con­vinced nga naga-usar gid

man droga, im­me­di­ately, ipa- drug test na­ton,” said Muchada.

For now, Muchada was wait­ing for Espinosa’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der.

“Indi man na nga we will pun­ish them,” he clar­i­fied. “We will help them ma- rehabilitate

[para] back to nor­mal ang aton em­p­leyado diri.”

“Pero kun mag­pa­s­away pa gid sila kag daw sila pa maisog, we have no other re­course but to file charges against them,” said Muchada.

Espinosa pre­vi­ously warned city hall em­ploy­ees, be they con­trac­tual, ca­sual or reg­u­lar: “Kon makit-an na­mon kag maprove nga pos­i­tive ikaw (for il­le­gal drugs), you’ll be pun­ished.”

He also said unan­nounced drug test­ing will com­ple­ment the drop box to en­sure that no city gov­ern­ment em­ployee is into il­le­gal drugs.

Ac­cord­ing to PRO-6 di­rec­tor Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Ce­sar Hawthorne Bi­nag, this drop box strat­egy is part of the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice’s re­booted Oplan Dou­ble Bar­rel, the na­tional gov­ern­ment’s ag­gres­sive cam­paign against il­le­gal drugs.

He as­sured the pub­lic that this new strat­egy won’t be abused and has safe­guards.

“All the sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion will be val­i­dated. There will be thor­ough coun­tercheck­ing,” said Bi­nag.

Af­ter the in­for­ma­tion from the boxes has been ver­i­fied, Bi­nag said, “we will knock ( tok­tok) and ap­peal ( hangyo) the drug per­son­al­i­ties to sur­ren­der.”

Tokhang, which Oplan Dou­ble Bar­rel is more com­monly known, is a play on th­ese two Visayan words.

“Kasi may­roong mga takot na mala­man na sila nag­bi­gay ng

in­for­ma­tion sa pulis. The drop boxes will make them open up with what they know about the ac­tiv­i­ties of their neighbors,” said Bi­nag./

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