ASIA/PHILIPPINES - A missionary to President Duterte: "Even violence is a drug"

Monday, 17 October 2016

Manila (Agenzia Fides) - In the face of the campaign of summary justice and extrajudicial executions against traffickers and drug dealers who for months have raged in the Philippines, and has claimed about 3,500 victims, it must be clearly said that "even killing can become a drug". "Killing sick people can be easy, killers may feel almighty, but they can also experience a deep sense of guilt, often unconscious, which can cause personality disorders, leading to various forms of violence, including alcoholism and drug addiction. Killers are dangerous to their own families". This was stated by Father Peter Geremia, missionary of the Pontifical Foreign Missions, religious institute that operates in the Philippines alongside the poor, tribal, marginalized on the island of Mindanao.
In an open letter addressed to the President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, sent to Agenzia Fides, Fr. Jeremiah observed: "President Duterte has launched an all-out war against drugs. The police now claims that those who do not surrender will be killed. In the war on drugs one must keep watch of murder, especially those carried out by vigilantes or police acting as vigilantes. They can become themselves dependent on violence".
"President Duterte – he continues - challenges us to pick ourselves up from our complacency. I would like our President, however, to bring forward the war on drugs avoiding 'drug murders'. I would like him to be able to convince more people to support a clean fight, not a dirty war against drugs and corruption".
The text concludes with an appeal to the nation: "Many addicts have decided to free themselves from drug addiction. They need rehabilitation, which is a health issue: are the government, churches and civil society able to implement an all-out effort for rehabilitation equal to that for the war on drugs? "
The missionary hopes that the Philippine nation can "break free from the slavery of drugs and corruption", avoiding, however, to becoming "dependent on drug violence". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 17/10/2016)