Priest blames corruption for rampant drug trade

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Fr. Roberto dela Cruz of the Manila archdiocese's Restorative Justice Ministry with Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle during a visit to the Manila City Jail, March 23, 2016.

MANILA, June 21, 2016— Why is illegal drug trade rampant in the country? A Catholic priest answered in one word: corruption.

Fr. Roberto “Bobby” dela Cruz of the Manila archdiocese’s Restorative Justice Ministry has lamented the proliferation of illegal drugs as a concrete display of corruption in the criminal justice system.

“The problem really is corruption that’s why [these criminals] are brave,” Dela Cruz told Radio Veritas on Tuesday.

He said drug suspects can escape prosecution and criminal convictions because they can bribe the authorities.

Dela Cruz said the “lagay system” or the act of bribing public officials must be stopped in efforts fight crimes. (READ: Weak justice system makes death penalty revival risk– priest)

“The solution is just by strictly enforcing the law. There’s no need to revive the death penalty,” he said.

A self confessed former drug user, he said the capital punishment denies the power of Christ to redeem, restore and transform all human beings.

The priest said his addiction to drugs started when he was in high school leading to hopelessness before God radically changed his life.

At a Catholic school in Quezon City, Dela Cruz said he was able to attend an evangelization program and it eventually changed his life.

“I was able to hear the Good News and it started there,” he added. (CBCPNews)

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