PNP firm on accountability, responsibility of ‘Tokhangers’

  • Written by Alfred Dalizon
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 445

HAVING learned their lessons from the past, the Philippine National Police leadership headed by
Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa has stressed that they will be firm when it comes to
accountability and responsibility of their men involved in the conduct of Oplan: Tokhang nationwide.

PNP Director for Operations, Director Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan said that as emphasized
by Gen. Dela Rosa, the principle of command responsibility shall be strictly observed during Tokhang

He said improper conduct of Tokhang activities shall be a ground for immediate relief and
subsequent filing of appropriate charges against ‘Tokhangers.’ Last but not the least, Gen. Dela
Rosa had made it clear that the ‘one-strike’ policy shall be implemented on the following grounds:
1st, the Precinct Commander shall be relieved if a PNP Tokhang team member under his/her
jurisdiction failed to properly conduct Tokhang activities as stated in the prescribed PNP
Supplemental Operational Guidelines.
2nd, the Chief of Police shall be relieved if two or more Precinct Commanders under his/her
jurisdiction violated the proper conduct of Tokhang activities as stated in the PNP guidelines.
3rd, the Provincial Director shall be relieved when two or more of his/her Chiefs of Police
are relieved due to negligence.
Last but not the least, the Regional Director shall be relieved when two or more of his/her
Provincial or City Directors are relieved due to Tokhang-related infractions.
According to PNP spokesman, Chief Superintendent John C. Bulalacao, Gen. Dela Rosa had made
it clear that ‘Tokhangers’ must be in their proper uniform and performing their tasks with
authority, firmness and conviction but without intimidation or coercion.
“Violation of the guidelines issued by the PNP leadership will be dealt with under the
existing PNP disciplinary mechanisms, Bulalacao explained.
The PNP leadership has described ‘Tokhang’ as a practical and realistic means of
accelerating the drive against illegal drugs in affected barangays.
All PNP ‘Tokhang’ activities, on orders of Gen. Dela Rosa, are being done in coordination
with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, local government units particularly the
Provincial/City/Municipal/Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Councils, Non-Governmental Organizations,
different stakeholders including religious groups and other law enforcement agencies.
Police will conduct ‘Tokhang’ only on the houses of persons included in the watch list
validated by the PNP-DI.
In houses without fence, the team shall talk with the house owner/subject only in front of
their doors.
In houses with fence, the team shall talk with the house owner/subject in front of the gate.
The team also shall not enter the house of the subject unless the subject/owner allows them.
The PNP guideline says the team shall only interview/talk to the subject personality and persuade
him/her to surrender. The subject personality shall not be processed or required to sign any
In case the subject personality expresses intent to surrender, he/she shall be advised to
proceed to the nearest barangay hall, BADAC officer or police station accompanied by his/her
family/guardian/relative for processing and documentation.
Minors who surrender to  police stations shall be accompanied by their parents or legal
guardians in proper coordination with the local Social Welfare and Development office.
Once inside the Barangay Hall/BADAC office or police station, the watch-listed drug
personality shall be asked to fill out and sign the Biographical Profile Form, affidavit and/or
other related documents.
Surrenderers who want to undergo rehabilitation shall be referred to the concerned
agency/LGU or the PNP recovery and wellness personnel.
If the subject personality refused to surrender or is hostile, Tokhang teams are under
orders not to engage him/her and instead endorse the case to their Drug Enforcement Units for the
conduct of case build-up and negation.
Gen. Dela Rosa maintained that police are out to convince communities that their Oplan:
Tokhang is meant to save, not kill people.