MANILA—Lawmakers at the House of Representatives have called for safeguards to prevent abuses in the renewed anti-drug campaign of the Philippine National Police (PNP) dubbed “Oplan Double Barrel: Reloaded”.
According to a statement on Wednesday, members of the House committee on public order and safety also expressed support for the “Double Barrel Reloaded”, which the PNP said has gained headway in the government’s narcotics crackdown.
Iligan City Rep. Frederick Siao, however, asked PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa in a committee hearing to purge the police force of rogues and scalawags.
Dela Rosa, in response, said the vetting process used in screening members of the anti-drugs campaign is now very strict through a thorough background investigation and interview.
A counter-intelligence task force has also been created to monitor the anti-illegal drugs operations, said Dela Rosa.
Muntinlupa City Rep. Rufino Biazon expressed hope that under the “Oplan Double Barrel: Reloaded,” such mistakes which marked the agency’s earlier operations be corrected.
For his part, Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. sought the close coordination and cooperation of the PNP for an out-patient community-based rehabilitation program, lamenting that the agency seldom turns over drug dependents for rehabilitation.
Misamis Occidental Rep. Henry Oaminal suggested that the legal assistance being provided to the police officers carrying out the anti-drugs operations is wide and strong enough down to the local level.
Dela Rosa said that while the organization is not so legally equipped, PNP is in the process of recruiting 100 lawyers to join its legal service and boost the legal support for PNP personnel involved in the anti-drug campaign.
Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano and Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia stressed the need for accurate and updated data on the number of drug addicts in the country, noting that such data is crucial in meeting PNP objectives.
Sultan Kudarat Rep. Horacio Suansing, Jr., a committee vice chairman, commended Dela Rosa for the “Double Barrel: Reloaded” program as it is bloodless and a kinder operation than the previous one. It is also well-received by the Filipino people, Suansing added.