Philippine National police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde said they will treat barangay officials involved in the drug trade just like the usual crime suspects.
“Pantay pantay ang pagtingin natin diyan (We treat them equally),” Albayalde said. “Whether elected officials or not, we will subject them to tokhang.”
The police chief advised those barangay chairs and councilors in the drug list to surrender or they will be subjected to Oplan Toktok-hangyo (tokhang).
In tokhang, police officers visit drug suspects at their house to ask them to end their illegal drug trade.
“If they (barangay officials) are in the (drug) watch list, we can visit and convince them to surrender,” Albayalde said.
If they will still continue their drug trade, Albayalde said they will conduct a buy-bust operation.
Albayalde said they can also apply from the court a search warrant to raid the suspect’s house.
He said they are still collating the list of winners in the recent barangay elections from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to determine who won among the drug-listed officials.
During his Davao visit, Albayalde said he has yet to check the names in the list.
In the Davao region, two of the three barangay officials in the list of narco-politicians won in the recent barangay elections, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) XI reported.
Two weeks prior to the elections, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino released the list of 90 barangay captains and 117 barangay councilors across the country who are reportedly engaged in drug trade.