By Aaron Recuenco
So what happened to the more than 1.2 million suspected drug users and pushers who were urged to surrender at the height of the war on drugs?
The chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) also wants to know.
Director-General Oscar Albayalde ordered all police commanders to account all the suspected drug personalities who surrendered in 2016 and up to the first few months of 2017 in order to check if they indeed changed as they promised to do when they faced the police.
The move, according to Albayalde, is part of the recalibrated war on drugs based on the pronouncement of President Duterte that the drug war will continue, this time, relentless and chilling.
“We be relentless in monitoring the whereabouts and activities of 1,274,213 drug users and street pushers who already surrendered to make sure they have actually mended their ways,” said Albayalde.
It was recalled that before and shortly after the drug war was launched in July 2016, hundreds of thousands of suspected drug pushers and users were compelled to surrender amid the series of killings on illegal drugs personalities both in police operations and in vigilante killings.
Barangay captains were asked to list the names of suspected drug pushers and users who in turn were visited by the police.
Those who surrendered were asked to fill out a form admitting involvement in illegal drugs and with a promise that they would reform themselves.
But some of them did not, as past reports indicated. Some of them were either arrested or killed in buy-bust operations.