MAGANES: Spare the innocents in the ‘Operation Tokhang’

August 27, 2017 at 11:10 pm Leave a comment


What will be your feeling if you are an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) and learned that your child has been killed by policemen due to the unrelenting war on illegal drugs by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Duterte administration? What will be your feeling if you know that your child is not even on the watchlist of drug users or pushers in your barangay and all of a sudden he is gone? Parents have only good intentions for their children why they have to work overseas. They want their children to have good education and prepare for their future.

I am not against the “Operation Tokhang” if only to eradicate the drug menace in the country. However, in carrying out this activity, police operations should be done in a manner that no innocent people will be victims by validating the “watchlist” provided by the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (Badac). It’s but easy for police operatives to concoct stories that the victims of “Tokhang” have eluded arrest and engaged in a gun fight. How about if there are witnesses who will say otherwise?

I cried when I read the story of a Grade 11 boy in Caloocan City who was killed under the “Tokhang”. The boy has all the greatest dreams in his life, to be a policeman someday not thinking that his dreams would be taken away by policemen.

Kian Delos Santos, a 17 year old boy, was killed in a police operations last August 16. Police operatives in their reports said that Kian  fought back when they tried to arrest him in his home. However, CCTV footage clearly showed that he was dragged away from his home and at  the end of a dark road alley, he was shot several times, killing him. When found, he’s holding a caliber 45 gun on his left hand. His parents could not believe  what they saw because they know that Kian was not a left-handed but a right-handed one.

His mother who is an OFW in the Middle East hurriedly went home to attend to the wake of his beloved son. She was disheartened to see that her son whom she described as a good boy with no vices was inside a coffin cold and still. She’s now crying for justice for her son.

This is just one of the horrible stories associated with “Tokhang”. There are many victims out there crying for justice but it seems there are still no concrete results of investigation have been done by the PNP. Two days ago as of this writing, the war on illegal drugs escalated in the province of Bulacan where 32 persons allegedly into drugs were killed. There was one person killed in every 45 minutes, which my journalist friend Orlan Mauricio of Bulacan described as a very sad situation in his province.

“Operation Tokhang” has all the intention to eradicate the use of illegal drugs in this country. President Duterte said this is to give a bright future for the younger generation. How can we give then a bright future for the youth when even them are not spared to this “bloody war”. The PNP might be overzealous in their quest to put an end to this illegal drugs proliferating in the country. But my God! Please spare the innocents. The blood of those killed innocently will haunt you forever.

Lately, President Duterte has came up with the new list of narco-politicians, police generals, prosecutors, judges, and even barangay officials who are into illegal drugs either as active participants in the trading or protectors. Why don’t the police officers lead by PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa zero in on them if only to get the real root cause of the problem.

There will be no drug users and pushers if there are no drug lords in the country. The PNP should act now against these narco-politicians, rouge policemen, judges and prosecutors. Don’t concentrate on the hapless and helpless drug users and pushers. Well, there might be cases of those being arrested to have engaged in gunfights, but there are also cases like what happened to Kian Delos Santos, who was a victim of the PNP’s thirst of blood.

When will all these bloody killings will end? Where are those drug lords who sneaked in tons of “shabu” worth P6.4 billions at the noses of Bureau of Customs (BoC) officials?

I personally understand the predicament of the police officers in the country. They are given orders by their superiors to end the illegal drugs. Because of this, they are in a hurry to declare villages and towns all over the country as drug-cleared areas. But then, declaring villages as drug-clear might not solve the problem. These drug-cleared villages might become another areas where drug pushers and drug lords will operate.

Look at what happened in San Vicente, Urdaneta City. Before the State of the Nation (SONA) of President Duterte, the village was eyed as a model for a drug-clear village. However, just days before the President’s SONA, drug users and pushers were nabbed by police operatives in the area. It’s just so sad that San Vicente is where PDEA chief Isidro Lapeña comes from.

At this point in time, PNP and even local government units (LGUs) should re-study their operations against illegal drugs in their areas. As a take off, I think the “National Coalition of Sectoral Force Multipliers and Advocacy Groups” is a good start.

(For comments and suggestions, email me at or at virgilmaganes42@gmail,com. Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at Read the online edition of Northern Watch at


Entry filed under: News.

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