By: Elena Grace Flores
Makati Mayor Abby Binay has called the representatives of the six exclusive villages to make them explain their non submission of their watch list in connection with Oplan Tokhang, the Duterte administration campaign against illegal drugs trade that is now subject to various controversies and has forced thousands of drug users and pushers nationwide to present themselves to the police due to fear of their life.
“We want to find out more information from them. Why is it that they have none when so many have surrendered from other barangays?” the city government’s legal department chief, Michael Arthur Camiña,said. So far, a total of 1,049 people that have something to do with illegal drugs have voluntarily submitted themselves under the Oplan Tokhang in Makati City for the month of July only. 199 of them are pushers while 850 are users.
In a statement, Binay stressed her call for the residents and officials of the six villages to give more cooperation to the police. “The cooperation and support of all barangay leaders are necessary to sustain the antidrug campaign. We should all work together to ensure drug-free communities in Makati,” she said.
Makati police chief Senior Supt. Rommil Mitra however said no one has submitted themselves for investigation or no surrender yet from the exclusive villages of Magallanes, Dasmariñas, Forbes, San Lorenzo, Urdaneta and Bel-air despite constant coordination with the respective barangay chiefs. The barangay captains of these villages issued a certification in declaration that there are no drug pushers or users known in their area except for Magallanes,
Under the Oplan Tokhang procedure, policemen will be knocking on doors of drug suspects as per the watch list submitted by barangay captains. Those who will “surrender” will be asked to to sign an affidavit admitting the nature of their illegal involvement. Their source of illegal drugs should also be disclosed and promise to change their ways.
People are adamant however to surrender because some of them in Metro Manila were shot dead in vigilante-style killings, which were expected when the President somewhat encouraged it by ordering a “shoot-to-kill” scenario against drug suspects but supposedly only when the life of the arresting officer is jeopardized – but many reports said otherwise.
Makati police records show that Barangay South Cembo yielded the most number of pushers (25), followed by Rizal (23) and West Rembo (14). Barangay Pembo (91), Pitogo (71) and South Cembo (55) have the most users.