The Philippine National Police in Negros Oriental is now selecting key personnel to be trained in anti-illegal drugs operations.
In an interview after the “Kapihan sa PIA” forum Wednesday afternoon, PNP provincial director Sr. Supt. Edwin Portento disclosed that based on the new guidance from the Chief PNP, Director Gen. Ronaldo dela Rosa, there will be a strict selection process for police personnel who will be involved in "OplanTokHang" this time.
Back then, any police officer on duty could be deployed to undertake OplanTokHang activities, specifically knocking on the doors of suspected drug users and pushers, for them to surrender voluntarily to the police.
This time, the “TokHangers” shall be properly screened and will undergo training on how to carry out their mission of visiting pre-identified and validated drug personalities, Portentosaid.
The Chief PNP strongly emphasized that prior to house visitation, an identified personality must be properly validated first, Portento said.
In the past, Portento admitted that if the police had even little information about a suspected drug personality, they were already allowed to go and knock on their doors.
The emphasis now was on the quality of operations (TokHang) and not more on quantity, he said.
The PNP was aiming to have at least two police personnel per police station to be assigned as “TokHangers”, he said.
In fact, they already had an initial seminar last Tuesday and an additional training had been set, he added.
The provincial police director also said that the “TokHangers” will also perform other police functions such as administrative, investigation, desk officer and street patrols.
Meanwhile, Portento clarified that the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency were working hand in hand in the anti-narcotics operations here, despite the lack of personnel of the PDEA.
The police are required to coordinate with the PDEA, which is mandated by law to be the lead agency in the anti-drugs drive, before police operation.
Sometimes, both agencies are represented while at other times, it is just the PNP but with prior notification to the PDEA, Portento said. *JFP/PNA
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