PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa yesterday expressed optimism they can beat President Duterte’s deadline to crush illegal drug trafficking and abuse in six months.
However, he said that his men need to triple their anti-narcotics drive to enable them to heed the president’s deadline to crush the drug menace during the first six months of his presidency.
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 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.
DEATHS UNDER INVESTIGATION NEARLY 1,600
The PNP yesterday said there are 1,571 cases of “deaths under investigation” or DUIs since President Duterte assumed the presidency last June 30. From July 1 to yesterday morning, those DUIs involved 2,035 suspected drug personalities silenced by drug syndicates to keep them from squealing on them.
PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo B. Carlos said 2,035 victims were killed in 1,874 incidents during the period. Out of the 1,874 incidents, 1,571 are considered DUIs.
Carlos said during the period, police filed 303 cases in court and arrested 190 persons involved in DUIs. Another 113 identified suspects are still being hunted.
OVER 1,000 KILLED IN POLICE OPERATIONS
Over 1,000 armed drug suspects have been killed during the same period which saw the arrest of more than 15,000 suspects and the surrender of over 680,000 confessed drug dealers and users as a result of the PNP Oplan: Tokhang.
As the new government enters its third month, Gen. dela Rosa said he is directing the entire 160,000-strong police force to intensify Oplan: Tokhang.
“Triple time ‘yung effort namin. Nagwo-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 ma-meet ‘yung 1.8 million na mag-surrender, that’s according to the estimate of the Dangerous Drugs Board. Ganun kataas ‘yung aming hinihingi 1.8 million pero ngayon nasa 600,000. Medyo nag-plateau,” he explained.
However, Gen. dela Rosa said the numbers are still not enough and has asked PNP deputy chief for operations Director Benjamin B. Magalong and PNP Director for Operations Chief Supt. 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. So far, dozens of city and municipal police chiefs have been relieved from their posts for “underperformance” in the anti-narcotics crackdown.