CHR notes ‘improvement’ in PNP’s relaunched Oplan Tokhang

Rambo Talabong

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CHR notes ‘improvement’ in PNP’s relaunched Oplan Tokhang
The Commission on Human Rights cites the crafting of tight guidelines for the drug war, but says it is still 'premature' to commend the campaign as 'less bloody'

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said on Monday, February 12, that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has made improvements in the controversial Oplan Tokhang since its relaunch.

“We cannot discount the fact that there’s an improvement from last year. We hope that it will be a total improvement so that it will really be a bloodless campaign,” CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in an interview with GMA’s Unang Balita.

In a text message to Rappler, she clarified that the improvements they spotted were not in the manner of conducting the drug war, but in the crafting of tight guidelines for anti-narcotics operations. (READ: How the ‘new’ Oplan Tokhang should be done)

De Guia added that it is still “premature” to commend the PNP’s 3rd try at the campaign as “less bloody” since it just restarted in late January.

De Guia said she hopes that the PNP would strive to be more like the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in conducting the drug war.

Based on latest PDEA data, only two have died in their operations since the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term, compared to thousands of deaths for the PNP.

Reached for comment, PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao told reporters on Monday that the rare praise from one of their fiercest critics made them “happy.”

Bulalacao said, however, that they cannot make promises that their return would be “bloodless.” No less than top cop Director General Ronald dela Rosa declared that waging a deathless drug war would be impossible. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.