In the Lacson-Sotto drug campaign, ‘walang tokhang’

Former police chief Panfilo Lacson says the Duterte administration has focused too much on law enforcement and not enough on prevention

There will be no door-to-door in the envisaged anti-drug campaign of Hopes 2022, Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

“Walang tokhang (There will be no tokhang),” Lacson said at a forum in Kapihan sa Manila Bay on Wednesday, July 28, when asked about their plan to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs in the Philippines.

Tokhang is part of the Philippine National Police’s flagship Oplan Double Barrel strategy, which involves seizing “high value targets” and petty pushers through anti-drug operations and home visits to tell them to stop consuming and selling. drugs – even with little or no evidence.

The practice originated in Davao City, when President Duterte was then mayor of the city and its local police chief was Ronald dela Rosa, who had since become chief of the national police and then colleague of Sotto and Lacson in the Senate.

A former police chief himself, Lacson said the Duterte administration was too focused on using cops and not paying enough attention to prevention.

This is the same analysis that experts have been saying since the start of Duterte’s drug campaign, but which has been largely ignored. (READ: Drug addiction is a health issue. Let someone talk to the President about it.)

This statement is consistent with the position of Lacson and Sotto, who also called for more emphasis on prevention in drug strategy.

Lacson said Sotto would be in charge of the drug problem if they were ever elected. As a reminder, Sotto was chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board from 2008 to 2009.

Sotto, however, left the forum early in anticipation of a meeting with his Nationalist People’s Coalition party comrades on their prospects for 2022.

The tandem are expected to speak on their platforms on August 4, when they make their official announcement as candidates for 2022.

Duterte’s drug campaign killed at least 7,884 drug suspects in September 2020. Human rights groups estimate it has claimed around 30,000 lives, including those killed by vigilantes who they say were inspired by Duterte’s rhetoric in favor of violence. –

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