Pangasinan PNP awaits order to resume ‘Oplan Tokhang’

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The Pangasinan Police Office has yet to receive an order in black and white authorizing the resumption of its unfinished anti-illegal drug operations in Pangasinan which was suspended sometime in January on order of President Rodrigo Duterte.

This was revealed by Supt. Frankie Candelario, deputy police provincial director and concurrent Public Information Officer of the Pangasinan PPO amid reports that the President has given the nod to the police to resume its anti-drug operations.

“Of course, that is good news to us and a challenge to all of us that once more the PNP is authorized to continue its anti-drug operations,” Supt. Candelario said.

He told the media that once the marching order is given, the police will do their unfinished job of cleaning the province which, in the last assessment of Candelario himself, was already more than 80 percent drug-cleared.

Sto. Tomas used to be the lone municipality in Pangasinan declared as drug-free. A report said that the town of Laoac made it as the second drug-cleared municipality in the province.

There was also the unfinished job of declaring the town of Natividad drug-free which was about to be done by the PNP till the anti-illegal drugs operations were withdrawn from them.

Chief PNP Ronald de la Rosa, in a speech during the inauguration of the new Laoac Police Station on March 2, gave broad hints that Oplan Tokhang would be back soon but did not indicate when it would start.

“Of course, we have many things to show to our people that the police are deserving of the new trust and confidence given by President Rodrigo Dueterte in giving back the lead to the police in the anti-illegal drugs operations, he said.

He added that the Pangasinan PNP has already undergone internal cleansing by already weeding out uniformed men involved in drugs and is now ready to resume its work in anti-illegal drugs operations in coordination with the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

The PDEA, as the lead agency in the war on drugs in Pangasinan, has only 13 operatives and cannot be expected to cover the whole province, comprising of 48 towns and cities.

Responding to a question from the media, Candelario said with the cleansing process of PNP personnel in Pangasinan, the public could be assured the lawmen would go back to work with more vigor and efficiency and finish the job of making the province drug-free soon. Leonardo Micua/