The realignment of the P900 million Oplan Tokhang budget for 2018 of the Philippine National Police (PNP) is now the object of discussion by some senators. This after the fight against illegal drugs was devolved to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) upon orders of President Duterte. Senators Franklin Drilon, Vicente Sotto and Panfilo Lacson are those who raised the idea of diverting the budget for other use. The suggestion is legitimate since the PNP now has nothing to do about the government’s anti-illegal drugs fight. The Tokhang budget plus the anti-crime Masa Masid budget of P500 million would total to about P1.4 billion.
That’s indeed a huge amount that would be left unused if not realigned. To use the money for PNP housing projects is among the suggestions. Another is to give the budget to the PNP Internal Affairs Service, and to allocate it for the PNP’s maintenance and other operating expenses. PDEA is currently working on a P1.5 billion budget to fight illegal drugs and crimes. The senate should work on the budget’s realignment to put it in significant use. All the above-mentioned suggestions are reasonable only that careful scrutiny should also be done to ensure that the budget will surely be used for the intended purpose. The job of a policeman is tough. Their families deserved to be given financial assistance for their allegiance in their duties except for those notorious cops. Since the budget is already appropriated, government should find ways to put it in good use primarily for the interest of the PNP.
The campaign against illegal drugs was removed from the police due to series of abuses by erring cops like killing minors allegedly involved in the drug trafficking business, extortion activities and worse, some of them are directly involved in the anomalies in cahoots with some politicians. The image of the PNP was entirely tainted due to the ill-doings of those bad cops. Nonetheless, the PNP hierarchy with PNP Director General Ronald Dela Rosa on the lead is exhausting all ways and means to cleanse the institution to regain its dignity. After all, the PNP remains a strong force to reckon in relation to its dangerous duty of keeping the country and citizenry safe from all forms of harm.