ASIA/PHILIPPINES - War On Drugs: Catholics commit themselves to form the consciences of police officers

Tuesday, 28 March 2017 drugs   politics   armed forces   formation   evangelization   human rights  

Quezon City (Agenzia Fides) – To raise the awareness of police officers and armed forces, engaged in the daily fight against drugs against traffickers and drug dealers, so that they always respect the principles of justice, legality, human dignity: as Fides learns, this is the goal of Catholic groups that are engaged in training seminars for law enforcement officers.
The national anti-drug campaign, launched by President Rodrigo Duterte, is attracting criticism for the high number of victims (over 8,000) and the attitude of police officers. The Order of St. Michael, ecclesial association, has launched specific human and spiritual programs for men in uniform: "If police officers strengthen their relationship with God, if they care about their relationship with the family, if they are rooted in fundamental ethical principles, we believe they will also have a good relationship with others and with society and will really take action for the well-being of the country", explains to Fides Arturo Alabanza, a lay Catholic and colonel in pension, who heads the ministry of the Order of Saint Michael.
"In the training course followed in the past, police officers made values such as justice, discipline, honesty, solidarity theirs; but the most important one, which embraces all the others, is faith. In this journey, we accompany them to rediscover a strong relationship with God. Without a strong relationship with God, their character could falter", explained Alabanza who, after a long career in the Philippine army, followed a path of spiritual renewal in the Catholic association for families "Couples for Christ."
The men in uniform are faced with difficult and different situations "that test character, personality, courage: if they do not have a deep relationship with God, they will surely fall into errors or commit injustice", remarked the colonel.
"The human and spiritual formation for the military and the police is more necessary than ever today, in a time when extrajudicial executions have spread in the country", he notes.
In a recent seminar held in Quezon city, titled "Forgiveness: The Key to success", 35 police officers attended a seminar composed of five talks on various topics such as family, forgiveness, respect for human dignity. The program, according to participants, proved to be invaluable and will be repeated with other police officers.
The Order of St. Michael works in partnership with the "Couples for Christ" movement and the various Chaplaincies of the services of the armed forces, police, and other bodies in uniform, offering courses at the Military Academy in Baguio, Maritime Academy in Asia and the Pacific in Mariveles and other places of military training.
The specific objective of the Order is to promote long-term formation of consciences, to enrich the training process of police officers with useful values and principles to build the common good of the nation. (NDL-PA) (Agenzia Fides 28/03/2017)