By Carmencita A. Carillo, Correspondent

Davao Police ready to secure Duterte, VIPs amid drug lord threats

Posted on June 14, 2016

DAVAO CITY -- The almost 2,000 police personnel of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) are capable of providing security to President-elect Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte and other VIPs expected to regularly visit the city now that Mr. Duterte has signified his intentions to spend most of his time working in his hometown.

The city’s police force faces a huge challenge in providing security not only because of the influx of tourists but also because of the threat posed by drug lord who have reportedly raised the bounty on the heads of Mr. Duterte and incoming Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa.

Mr. Dela Rosa challenged the drug lords and said they will no longer be allowed to do business as he will see to it that they will no longer afford to pay the police. “I will make it very expensive for them to pay the police,” he added.

Mr. Dela Rosa said drug dealers, users and couriers can expect him to come knocking on their doors anytime soon once the PNP starts to implement Oplan Tokhang, coined from the Visayan words “Tukyok” and “Hangyo” which means knock and plead.

“I am drafting a command memorandum related to Oplan Tokhang to be given to all commanders during my first command conference for immediate implementation,” he said.

Under Oplan Tokhang, the police station commanders will ask barangay captains a list of drug personalities in their barangays including drug pushers, dealers, couriers, users and others involved in the drug trade. Once validated, the names on the list can expect a visit from the barangay captain and chief of police.

Oplan Tokhang aims to address drug demand and supply reduction at the barangay level while the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the PNP’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Group will target the drug lords.

Mr. dela Rosa has identified the areas where illegal drugs are rampant, namely the National Capital Region (NCR) and Regions 3,4,6, 7 and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

While DCPO Spokesperson Chief Inspector Milgrace C. Driz denied any knowledge of the said bounty on the heads of Mr. Duterte and Mr. dela Rosa, she said the DCPO is trying its best to secure the president-elect when he is in the city.

“Proven naman ang security sa Davao City na provided by the DCPO. [Davao City’s security as provided by the DCPO is proven.] We also have additional 600 personnel from the Police Regional Office who will help us secure the city and the President-elect and even the VIPs,” Ms. Driz said.

DCPO has 1,300 existing police personnel and additional personnel have been assigned to the DCPO.

“Duterte is secured in the city. Gi triple namo ang intelligence monitoring pud [We tripled the intelligence monitoring] to ensure his safety,” she added.

Ms. Driz said the training for the 122 Davao police officers who have offered to be assigned as part of the Presidential Security Group has not yet been conducted as they are still in the pre-qualification process.