“Tokhang 2.0 is a return slap to the critics of Rody, primarily the yellow pair of former President Noynoy Aquino and Vice President Leni Robredo.
The conduct of the revitalized Oplan Tokhang of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in which multiple arrests on individuals were made throughout Metro Manila without any reported death was a testimony to a learning curve in the signature war on drugs of President Rody Duterte.
Both Rody and the PNP refused to waver on the campaign despite the deluge of criticisms mostly from rights groups and Western nations that insist the country follow a certain model that treats the drugs problem as a health concern.
Tokhang 2.0, thus far, is a stellar credit to PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde who showed that he can follow to the letter the directive of Rody without unnecessary blood spilled.
Albayalde’s attitude towards the campaign was key to the more orderly conduct of the war on drugs.
Albayalde said he welcomes constructive criticisms and suggestions on fine-tuning the war on drugs which was a departure from the former stricture on adverse views.
“We are recalibrating our operational thrusts for the various law enforcement concerns and initiatives to sync well with the national policy,” Albayalde said to put the war on drugs in the context of his new thrust.
In the colorful language that he is known for, Rody said in his State of the Nation Address “the war against illegal drugs is far from over…The illegal drugs war will not be sidelined.
Instead, it will be as relentless and chilling, if you will, as on the day it began.”
“Your concern is human rights, mine is human lives. Lives of youth are being wasted and family lives are being destroyed,” Duterte said.
Most of all, the bloodless Tokhang 2.0 is a return slap to the critics of Rody, primarily the yellow pair of former President Noynoy Aquino and Vice President Leni Robredo, who sneered at Rody’s statement as both said human rights and lives are inseparable.
Preservation of life as an indispensable human right should be a familiar topic to Noynoy since under his administration bloodletting was very liberal.
Aside from the Dengvaxia fiasco in which P3.5 billion of public money was channeled to risking lives of Filipino school children who were turned into laboratory mice of Sanofi Pasteur, there was the bungled Mamasapano mission that cost the lives of 44 Special Action Force troops.
It was also during the terms of Noynoy and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that the term “culture of impunity” was coined by rights groups for their failure to stop the string of killings of media personnel, lawyers and rights advocates.
“The misplaced rhetoric of Noynoy always haunts him back as his failures as a leader remain fresh in the minds of many.
Noynoy’s term is also best remembered for the death of eight Hong Kong tourists in the Luneta bus tragedy and his failure to apologize for it.
Had Noynoy been true to his belief that rights and lives being inseparable, making an apology would not have been an ordeal.
In his refusal to apologize, he even cited China’s refusal to offer an apology when Filipinos were killed by a mugger and a suicide bomber in Beijing.
Hong Kong imposed sanctions on the country, including the removal of visa-free privileges on Filipino visitors, which were lifted only when former President and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada went to the territory to render the apology that Noynoy denied.
Noynoy made a fantastic claim then that the country might be tied up with legal liabilities if a formal apology is given. Erap just went there and apologized and soothed wounded feelings.
The Mamasapano carnage was also an instance where Noynoy’s supposed rights advocacy failed to match his action since he even avoided honoring those who perished in the botched police mission.
The misplaced rhetoric of Noynoy always haunts him back as his failures as a leader remain fresh in the minds of many.
Noynoy notwithstanding, Rody and PNP appear on track in adjusting the war on drugs as a permanent solution to the problem of criminality.
Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Indonesia are among countries replicating Rody’s war on drugs.
Noynoy is acting like a crab trying to pull down his fellows in a heap after blowing his chance to solve the crime wave and now criticizing the gains of his successor.
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