PNP Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ de la Rosa
PNP Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ de la Rosa

Expected to rally police in EV on anti-drug campaign

TACLOBAN CITY – Controversial PNP Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ de la Rosa will arrive today (Sept.13) to join the regional celebration of the 115th anniversary of the country’s police force.
During his one-day visit, the country’s head of the Philippine National Police (PNP) is expected to call all members and officials of the police organization to rally behind on the campaign of the Duterte administration against the proliferation of the illegal drugs.
de la Rosa will speak before the members and officials of the PNP-8 at the Camp Ruperto Kangleon in Palo town.
“The PNP chief wants to celebrate the 115th anniversary in all regional offices in the country. This is part of his assessment of the current situation in different regions,” Chief Insp. Ma. Bella Rentuaya, police regional information officer, said.
After the arrival honors, de la Rosa will entertain questions from the media in a brief press conference.
He will then grace the anniversary program by giving awards to about 20 outstanding police officers, police units, and local government units who have been active partners of the organization’s anti-drug war and in rendering police service to the community.
“The highlight is the giving of awards and recognitions to the performing units and individuals who have contributed to the success of various police operations,” Rentuaya said.
Among the awardees is Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido under the special individual award category. He was recognized for his intensified anti-drug war campaign in Albuera, Leyte particularly against Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and son Kerwin, considered the region’s top illegal drug players.
Around 500 policemen will witness the celebration. Some of them, including top officials, will join the PNP chief in a boodle fight lunch.
De la Rosa will then preside a command conference to be attended by key PNP regional officials, provincial directors and city directors.
Provincial and city police chiefs are expected to present their accomplishments. The day’s event will be capped with a fellowship night.
The anniversary is anchored on the theme “Hamon ng Pagbabago, Pinag-ibayong Serbisyo.”
The PNP chief, handpicked President by Rodrigo Duterte to lead in his anti-drug war, is expected to order cops in the region to ramp up their efforts to suppress the drug menace within the first six months of his administration.
The PNP chief will assess the region’s enforcement of two major programs he introduced – “Operation Tokhang” and “Project Double Barrel.”
Tokhang is a combination of Visayan word, which means to approach and persuade. Under the said operation, police knocked on doors of known drug traders and dependents, asking them to stop the illicit practice.
According to Rentuaya, there are about 20,000 self-confessed drug pushers and users who yielded to authorities in the region since the campaign started on July 1.
Around P100 million worth of shabu have been seized by the police in the region in the course of their campaign.
The other program is based on a concept of double barrel gun, which fires two in just one squeeze of the trigger.
The operation will simultaneously attack big-time drug lords and street-level trading.
The “first barrel” is directed to those at the top, while the “second barrel” is aimed at those at the bottom, which involves reforming drug users who want to get rid of drugs.

By: Sarwell Q. Meniano