‘Santa Bato’ gives gifts to surrendered kids of ‘Oplan Tokhang’.


He was dressed in a bright red suit, complete with a fake white beard and spectacles.

But the “Santa Claus” who showed up at the SM Megamall on Thursday, December 1, was no ordinary man – it was Ronald dela Rosa, the 4-star police general who heads the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Dela Rosa led a gift-giving activity organized by the PNP’s Police Community Relations Group (PCRG).

The recipients? Children of “surrendered” drug personalities under the PNP’s “Oplan Tokhang,” a literal knock-and-plead operation where police weed out suspected drug users and pushers.

To date, police have visited more than 4.3 million houses and have tallied over 800,000 “surrendered” drug suspects.

But not all “Tokhang” operations are peaceful.

Most of the kids at the gift-giving event had one parent killed because of police anti-illegal drugs operations, Dela Rosa told reporters.

A few hours before the Megamall event, Dela Rosa in a press briefing said the PNP would be placed under “terror alert level 3,” following the discovery of an improvised bomb near the United States Embassy earlier this week. (Read More: In Terror Alert level 3)

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