MANILA, Sept. 14, 2016 – Drug peddlers who show a desire for self-reform should not be killed but rehabilitated, put under employable skills training, and given jobs to help them live decent lives, said a priest on Wednesday.
“Many are wishing to change their lives,” said Fr. Dari Dioquino, Immaculate Conception Parish – Marikina assistant priest.
Unfortunately, small time drug pushers who are willing to leave their lives of vice are being eliminated by individuals who fear they would turn into witnesses against them, he noted.
Same treatment for rich and poor
The priest expressed grief over drug-related killings that have been taking place in the country for the past few months.
He prayed that the family, church, and government would cooperate and push for the rehabilitation of drug pushers as well as users.
Jose Mario De Vega, an outspoken Marxist atheist, expressed his approval of the government’s campaign against drugs.
However, he decried the cases of alleged summary executions across the country.
“The enforcement of the laws should be fair,” stressed De Vega. “It should apply regardless whether the person is rich or poor.”
If the cops are making raids in depressed communities in the state’s war on drugs, they should also break into villages of the well-to-do, he noted.
Meanwhile, a retired farmer criticized the government’s “anti-poor” war on drugs.
Mang Rudy, who is in his sixties, said the anti-drug campaign is losing popularity among people who believe small time pushers are simply forced to peddle drugs due to poverty and unemployment and who are now being butchered by druglords to eliminate witnesses against them.
The lives of thousands of poor individuals linked to drugs were taken but not even a handful of drug lords were executed, he complained. (Oliver Samson / CBCPNews)