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Robredo wants revamp of ‘Tokhang’: OK kumatok, bawal pumatay!

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Vice President Leni Robredo no longer wants killings to be associated with “Oplan Tokhang,” the police-led law enforcement operations conducted as part of the government’s war on drugs.

Robredo on Friday (November 8) said it’s time for a new approach to the drug war as she met with top officials of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs following her designation as co-chairperson.

“Iyong sa akin, iyong pagkakatok, iyong pagse-search, okay iyon, pero because of the many senseless killings that accompanied Operation Tokhang. Parang naka-reach siya ng certain level of notoriety na kapag sinabing Tokhang, it is a war against the poor. I think it is upon us, it is incumbent upon us na mabago iyong kaisipan na iyon,” she told reporters before the meeting started.

Robredo said she expects to be given data related to the drug war during the meeting. She said it was important for her to have the relevant information so she can assess how the government’s campaign can be improved.

“Siguro, today is an opportunity for all of us to take stock of ano ba iyong mga mabubuting ginagawa, para iyong mga mabubuting ginagawa o iyong mga effective na ginagawa, ipagpapatuloy na gagawin. Pero ano iyong mga ginagawa na hindi nagbibigay sa atin ng mga desired results? Baka iyon iyong pag-isipan natin,” she said.

Robredo said that while she believes a “strong policy” is needed to fight illegal drugs, everything must also be done in accordance with the law.

“Ang kalaban po natin dito hindi iyong mga kababayan natin; ang kalaban natin dito, droga. Dahil ang kalaban natin droga, we should also look at it not just using the lens of crime, or criminal justice, but also using the lens of health and the fact that addiction is a medical and a sociological problem,” she said.

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