Gov’t never learned from its flawed “Tokhang” campaign – Anakpawis solon

Families of victims and human rights advocates slam relaunching of Oplan Tokhang. Photo by Rise Up for Life and For Rights, Kathy Yamzon.Families of victims and human rights advocates slam relaunching of Oplan Tokhang. Photo by Rise Up for Life and For Rights, Kathy Yamzon.

Manila, Philippines – On the relaunching of the Duterte administration’s anti-drug campaign “Oplan Tokhang,” the Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao articulated that the governmnent appears to miss the lessons of its past implementations that clearly victimized the people across the country.

“When ‘Oplan Tokhang’ was on full-throttle last year, death toll has been rising up to as high as 58 in three days in August, and with the brutal killings of teenagers, the government only reaped the people’s resentment that led to a dramatic drop in its trust ratings, and tens of thousands joined rallies to condemn the violence and call for justice,” Casilao said in a statement.

“Oplan Tokhang” or the house-to-house anti-drug campaign of the government has been suspended in January and resumed in March last year, then again suspended in October. Casilao believed that the last suspension was due to the outpouring public denunciation, international criticism and huge attendance of the anti-tyranny protest action marking the September 21 anniversary of martial law declaration.

Significantly, then, the Social Weather Station (SWS) released their survey results in October that revealed a dramatic drop in President Rodrigo Duterte’s net satisfaction ratings of 18 points from 66 of June to his lowest 48 for the September. The biggest drop was among class E with 32, at the Visayas with 30, Luzon with 22, at Urban with 20 and NCR at 19.

“In addition to his abandonment of his key promises to the poor sectors, such land reform and rural development, ending contractualization of labor, and ‘no relocation, no demolition,’ his flawed anti-drug war sealed his unpopularity, and at present, the gov’t never seem to accept that,” Casilao said.

The lawmaker said that genuine road to resolving the drug menace in the country is to authentically address the root causes of poverty, regular employment, wage hike and rendering of government services such as public housing, education and health. If the Duterte administration simply fulfill these major concerns, it will be the people themselves who on their own initiatives, would fight and quell the drug syndicates and their pushers operating in the country. ###