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IBP issues guidelines for ‘Oplan Tokhang’

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines said yesterday while “Oplan Tokhang” is not illegal, it should be implemented by the police with full assurance for the safety and security of the suspected illegal drug offenders.

A group of more than 60,000 lawyers in the country, the IBP also reiterated its stand against extra-judicial killings and the strict observance of due process in police operations.

Through National President Rosario T. Setias-Reyes, the IBP said that Oplan Tokhang should be non-aggressive but a pro-active illegal drug campaign of the government.

If not properly implemented, Oplan Tokhang could be a “fascistic nightmare of police abuse and human rights violations that will only foster fear and hatred against our police officers instead of the respect and support that they should earn and receive,” the IBP said.

It then cited several guidelines that the police should follow in implementing the re-launched “Oplang Tokhang such as:

– Police officers must be in full uniform when conducting subject visitation and that it is advisable the visitation must be done in coordination with the local barangay officials to ensure the safety and peace of mind of the subject as well it must be conducted during the daytime to minimize the danger of miscommunication, misunderstanding, or misapprehension between the subject and the police officer.

– No aggressive or coercive actions or statements should be taken or made against the subject at the time of the visitation. (Rey G. Panaligan)