MANILA, August 11, 2016– Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Mission called for more concentrated efforts to alleviate poverty instead of killing suspected dealers as a means to end the drug trade.
According to Romblon Bishop Arturo Bastes, because of poverty, many have turned to peddling drugs in order to survive.
He said instead of killing them, drug users and pushers should undergo due process and be helped to change their life for the better.
“Of course you must stop drug addiction,” said the prelate. “[But] I don’t like the way [they are killed] even though [there is only] suspicion,” added Bastes.
He stressed the need to have due process to prosecute confirmed drug pushers, specially drug lords.
“Because the victims are very small, they are just small fish. The poor people, because of the poverty, they are engaged in drugs – both using and selling,” Bastes explained.
As of Aug. 8, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has reported 564 suspected drug pushers or users killed, 341 killed in police operations and 223 killed by unidentified hitmen.
“If you are in the rural area, some people take drugs in order to forget the miseries of life. The first thing is really to make our people empowered by giving them a chance to live a quality life,” stressed the prelate. (Ysabel Hilado/CBCPNews)