‘Oplan Dou­ble Bar­rel’ sus­pended anew

Sun.Star Davao - - TOP STORIES -

MANILA - A day after Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte has des­ig­nated the Philip­pine Drug En­force­ment Agency (Pdea) as the "sole agency" in charge of the war on drugs, the Philip­pine National Po­lice (PNP) on Thursday of­fi­cially ter­mi­nated the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Oplan Dou­ble Bar­rel and Oplan Tokhang.

PNP spokesper­son Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Dionardo Car­los said Thursday that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Pro­ject Dou­ble Bar­rel and Oplan Tokhang are ter­mi­nated and all po­lice drug en­force­ment units (DEU) are dis­solved.

PNP deputy spokesper­son Su­per­in­ten­dent Vimelee Madrid said the PNP's or­der was in ad­her­ence to the Pres­i­dent's or­der designating PDEA as the sole agency for gov­ern­ment's drugs war.

Oplan Dou­ble Bar­rel is the PNP's cam­paign

against high-value drug tar­gets, which re­sulted in killings of drug sus­pects.

Duterte, in a me­moran­dum signed on Oc­to­ber 10, tasked the PDEA to con­duct anti-il­le­gal drug op­er­a­tions "against all those who di­rectly or in­di­rectly, and in what­ever man­ner or ca­pac­ity, are in­volved in or con­nected with il­le­gal drugs."

The Pres­i­dent in­structed the PNP, National Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (NBI) and other agen­cies in­volved in drug war to just re­lay in­for­ma­tion re­lated to the anti-drug cam­paign to PDEA.

He also in­structed the PNP to merely main­tain po­lice vis­i­bil­ity "as a de­ter­rent to il­le­gal drug ac­tiv­i­ties."

Madrid said po­lice of­fi­cers may still make ar­rests if the il­le­gal drug trans­ac­tion is hap­pen­ing in front of them. "Kung ang [if the] sit­u­a­tion war­rants war­rant­less ar­rest, we can take ef­fect the ar­rest im­me­di­ately. If the crime is be­ing com­mit­ted in our pres­ence and we have per­sonal knowl­edge that a crime is be­ing com­mit­ted or is about to be com­mit­ted we will ef­fect the ar­rest," Madrid said.

"We will still up­hold the law. The use, deal­ing, the buy­ing of il­le­gal drugs is pun­ish­able by law so we still man­dated to ar­rest any­time," she added.

PNP Direc­torate of Op­er­a­tions chief Direc­tor Camilo Pan­cratius Cas­colan po­lice­men af­fected by the dis­band­ing of the DEUs may be re­as­signed to in­tel­li­gence units in line with their anti-crim­i­nal­ity op­er­a­tions. Cas­colan said the PNP's Drug En­force­ment Group will re­main as a unit.

PDEG will con­tinue with in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing and will for­ward and co­or­di­nate to the PDEA all the data they needed in line with the anti-il­le­gal drugs op­er­a­tions, he said.

Last Jan­uary, Duterte de­tached the PNP from the war on drugs fol­low­ing the death of Korean busi­ness­man Jee Ick-joo al­legedly in the hands of the po­lice­men, inside the PNP head­quar­ters in Camp Crame, Que­zon City. He or­dered the PNP, which he de­scribed as "cor­rupt to the core," to con­duct in­ter­nal cleans­ing and re­move erring per­son­nel from the ser­vice.

Dela Rosa im­me­di­ately dis­man­tled the PNP Anti-Il­le­gal Drugs Group and cre­ated the Po­lice Drug En­force­ment Group (PDEG), which con­sists of po­lice of­fi­cers who un­der­went in­tense screen­ing to en­sure they are de­serv­ing of the job.

In March, the PNP an­nounced the re­ac­ti­va­tion of the Oplan Dou­ble Bar­rel and promised that it would have been "less bloody." But the po­lice drug war op­er­a­tions have killed dozens more sus­pects, in­clud­ing mi­nors.

Mala­cañang clar­i­fied on Thursday that del­e­gat­ing PDEA as the sole agency in charge of the war on drugs does not mean that there was a fail­ure in im­ple­men­ta­tion of the gov­ern­ment's cam­paign against il­licit drugs. SunS­tar Philip­pines

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