13 March 2017

News Story: Double Barrel 2 - More arrests, less deaths

By Emmanuel Tupas

MANILA, Philippines -  In the week since the implementation of a “reloaded” campaign against illegal drugs, police stayed true to their word that it would be less bloody, with more people arrested than killed.

A total 331 drug suspects were arrested in nationwide operations since the Philippine National Police (PNP) launched its “Project Double Barrel: Reloaded” last Monday.

Thirteen drug suspects were killed, with all of them allegedly putting up a fight against arresting lawmen.

On the other hand, only 14 self-confessed drug pushers and 13 users surrendered under Oplan Tokhang Part 2.

This was significantly lower than the previous Tokhang campaign where many of those who surrendered ended up dead at the hands of suspected vigilante groups supporting the brutal anti-drug campaign.

Officials stressed the renewed campaign against illegal drugs is not as violent and brutal as the first Oplan Tokhang.

Director Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, director of the PNP Directorate for Operations, said he expects more arrests in the coming days.

“For as long they don’t turn violent,” Cascolan said.

Tokhang, taken from the Visayan words toktok (knock) and hangyo (plead), is the centerpiece of the PNP’s campaign against illegal drugs. It involves going house-to-house to encourage suspected drug offenders to surrender or voluntarily undergo rehabilitation.

Tokhang was suspended early this year following the involvement of several police officials in the kidnapping and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo in an extortion attempt that took advantage of the anti-drug campaign.

Read the full story at PhilStar