Foreign law enforcers keen on adopting ‘OplanTokhang’: NCRPO exec

BAGUIO CITY — Countries faced with problems on illegal drugs are eyeing to replicate the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) “OplanTokhang” to address their problems on illegal substance abuse and trading.

Police Chief Inspector (PCI) Kimberly Molitas, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) information officer and member of the International Association of Women Police (IAWP), said this in an interview with PNA on Tuesday.

Molitas is a transnational crime buster who represents the Philippines in international fora talking on the country’s war on drugs.

During her visit to Colombia this month to talk on the administration’s campaign on illegal drugs, Molitas said foreign law enforcers intimated their desire to adopt “OplanTokhang” to combat their own problem on substance abuse and trafficking.

Among the countries she visited where she recently talked on the topic were Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Colombia, and USA including in New York, which, she said, showed interest to replicate the program.

Molitas said that she visited these countries on invitations to present the actuality of the drug war in the Philippines.

“They have been looking at factual benefits of the ‘OplanTokhang’, how some suspects died during police operation, what the human rights organization says, and what are reported on media,” she said.

Relaying her previous engagements with law enforcers in these countries, Molitas said that she used data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in her presentations.

“They were surprised that we have at least 1.3 million drug surrenderers which, according to them, never happened to other countries facing drug problems,” she said.

When asked on the strategies under “OplanTokhang” to make the 1.3 million drug suspects surrender, Molitas said she relayed the PNP’s “Knock and Plead scheme,” where policemen literally knocked on the doors of the drug suspects and asked them to voluntarily surrender.

“They even asked me to accompany them to do the knock and plead scheme,” she said.  “The Indonesian police is now preparing to implement their own version of the ‘OplanTokhang.’”

She added that in Colombia, one of the countries known for being saddled with the war on drugs, hundreds of thousands were killed during many years of confronting the problem. She said counterparts including in Colombia were surprised that the Philippines was able to convince drug personalities to surrender and avail of the rehabilitation program being offered by the government in partnership with the private sector.

Molitas said that foreign law enforcers were curious about “OplanTokhang” and wanted to adopt the scheme.

Record shows that starting July 1, 2016 to date, there were 76,863 anti-drug operations already conducted in the Philippines with over a million drug personalities surrendering and 113,932 arrested, yielding a total of PHP18.84 billion worth of illegal drugs, paraphernalia and laboratory equipment.