3 city hall workers named in ‘tokhang’ drop box
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./