“Oplang Tokhang” is definitely coming to showbiz.
The Duterte administration’s war on drugs will not exempt entertainment personalities, but it will be conducted through their biggest employers — the major television networks, Philippine National Police Director General Roland “Bato” Dela Rosa said on Tuesday.
De la Rosa said he would ask for President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of drug users and pushers in showbiz so he could initiate a modified version of “Oplan Tokhang” immediately.
“Magkikita kami ni President mamaya, I hope na ibigay niya sa akin iyong listahan and we are planning to conduct Oplan Tokhang doon sa mga nasa listahan. Kakatukin natin kung saan sila nakatira iyong mga celebrities na involved,” Dela Rosa said.
The PNP chief, who had just attended a hearing on the proposed measure to tap telephones lines and other communication gadgets of known drug personalities, said he will talk not only to pushers in the entertainment sector, but also all users since they are violating the law by using prohibited drugs.
“Kung mere users itong mga celebrities, that mere fact na users sila, they are still involved in the use of illegal drugs, and that is still illegal, so kailangan kausapin natrin na huminto na sila sa paggamit through Oplan Tokhang,” Dela Rosa noted.
All celebrities employed by a particular network will be gathered in one place where police can talk to them.
“Halimbawa sa isang network, may 7 or 10 na nasa listahan, gagawin natin doon ang modified Tokhang. Tawag natin sa Davao niyan Takhang. Meaning we gather them, lahat ng TV personalities sa isang network, gather natin sila sa opisina nila as a group, collectively, hindi individually na identified, na huminto na kayo please, nakakahiya sa bayan na idol kayo ng kabataan tapos nagdodroga kayo,” Dela Rosa explained.
Dela Rosa said the police will try to give the celebrities a piece of advice, but they would still undergo the process like other ordinary users or pushers.
“Di porket artists kayo exempted na kayo sa processo sa Oplan Tokhamg… Kunan info saan nanggagaling drugs nila, sino kasama nila,” Dela Rosa said.
After processing, Dela Rosa said if they voluntary surrender, they will be given the chance to rehabilitate themselves.
“Basta mag-surrender sila, sabi nila gusto namin sir magbago, pagbigyan natin. We want this campaign to be as human as possible kaya umabot tayo ng 720, 000 surrenderees, dahil sa ganito,” Dela Rosa stressed.
ABS-CBN and GMA Network are the two biggest employers of entertainers in the country. The third major network, TV5, abolished its production department last year and released its contract stars.
On Tuesday, Duterte admitted errors in the so-called drug matrix he released over a month ago. He apologized to former Pangasinan governor and now Rep. Amado Espino, Francisco’s brother, dismissed Pangasinan provincial administrator Rafael Baraan, and Urbiztondo board member Raul Sison for linking them to the illegal drug trade.
The president said they should not have been included in the matrix.