Philippine National Police

‘Tokhang, COVID edition’: Netizens slam police house-to-house virus operations

Gaby Baizas
‘Tokhang, COVID edition’: Netizens slam police house-to-house virus operations
Filipinos again question why the police should be deployed for a public health issue, and compare the move to the Duterte government's infamous war on drugs

Filipinos online were quick to lambast the recently-announced police house-to-house enforcement of quarantine measures, fearing this may lead to abuses and may even contribute to the spread of the coronavirus disease.

Netizens took turns criticizing the move after Interior Secretary Eduardo Año announced on Tuesday, July 14, that the Philippine National Police (PNP), with the help local government units, will help bring COVID-19 patients who are quarantined at home, to government isolation facilities.

Netizens questioned why the government was yet again deploying the police, and not medical personnel, to solve a health crisis.

From a health perspective, many netizens also felt the operations would make it easier to transmit the virus to several houses.

Filipinos online said the move may also possibly facilitate the implementation of the controversial anti-terrorism law.

Many netizens also compared the decision to the Duterte’s administration’s controversial war on drugs and the infamous Oplan Tokhang, which allowed the police to raid drug suspects’ homes even without warrants, and led to deaths.

The PNP reported that more than 6,000 suspects were killed in the drug war, but human rights pegged the number to more than 20,000 to include those killed vigilante-style. (READ: TokHang documents prove drug war caused cops to kill suspects – FLAG)

Here’s what other Filipinos had to say about the issue:

What are your thoughts on this move? –

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Gaby Baizas

Gaby Baizas is a digital forensics researcher at Rappler. She first joined Rappler straight out of college as a digital communications specialist. She hopes people learn to read past headlines the same way she hopes punk never dies.