“SABI nga ni Presidente (Rodrigo Duterte), zero tolerance tayo sa drugs. Kung zero tolerance, malaki pa bubunuin natin and I’m worried. We are running out of time.” Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald ‘‘Bato’’ M. dela Rosa said this as he repeated his order for his men to ‘‘double, even triple’’ their efforts in the anti-narcotics drive to enable them to beat Duterte’s deadline to crush drugs during the first six months of his administration.
Dela Rosa said there is a big need for his men to triple their efforts so that they can meet their target to make an estimated 1.8 million drug users in the country to surrender within the first six months of the new administration.
The sharpshooting police chief said that despite their significant accomplishments in the conduct of Oplan: Tokhang and Project: Double Barrel, police nationwide have to work double, even triple time to accomplish what they have promised the new president.
As the new government enters its 3rd month, Gen. dela Rosa said he is directing the entire 160,000-strong police force to triple its efforts in implementing the vaunted Oplan: Tokhang.
“Triple time ’yung effort namin. Nagwu-worry nga kami dahil after we reached 600,000 plus nag-plateau na kami. Hindi na umaakyat ’yung number of nagsurrender,” he said.
“Kaya worried ako baka hindi mameet ’yung 1.8 million na mag-surrender, that’s according to the estimate of the Dangerous Drugs Board. Ganu’n kataas ’yung aming hinihingi 1.8 million pero ngayon nasa 600,000. Medyo nagplateau,” he explained.
The PNP chief said he expects the number to increase further with the surrender of more than 10,000 confessed drug dealers and users in Central Mindanao during simple Oplan: Tokhang ceremonies in General Santos City Wednesday.
Those operations have also resulted in the killing of 900 armed drug offenders in reported gunfights with the police, the arrest of around 13,000 suspects and the surrender of nearly 628,000 others.
However, Gen. dela Rosa said the numbers are still not enough and will ask PNP deputy chief for operations, Director Benjamin B. Magalong and PNP Director for Operations, Chief Superintendent Camilo Pancratius D. Cascolan to present to him an assessment of the first three-months of the anti-drug war which will be used to gauge the performance of commanders in the ground.
The PNP chief has threatened to remove police regional directors who will miserably fail in their implementation of Oplan: Tokhang and Project: Double Barrel.