Cayetano pushes for rehabilitation-centered war on drugs

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Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the government’s war on drugs needs to focus more on rehabilitating drug users.

In a recent, no-holds-barred interview with television host Boy Abunda, Cayetano said the government should give more attention to the rehabilitative and spiritual facets of combating illegal drugs since the current campaign tends to concentrate on law enforcement.

“The emphasis is all on enforcement,” he said. “Walang pagbabago kung walang transformation. So, kung mawala si Presidente, I’ll bet you, balik na naman y’ung drug lords. Why? There’s no true change. Natakot lang sa enforcement.”

(There’s no change if there’s no transformation. Once the President is gone, I bet the drug lords will return. Why? Because there’s no true change. There was only fear of law enforcement.)

Saying the end should not justify the means, Cayetano argued that the war on drugs is not essentially evil but that extrajudicial killings committed during its enforcement violate the fundamental tenets of Christianity.

“Extrajudicial killing violates everything that we stand for in the Bible or as a Christian. The drug war per se, done properly, does not,” he said.

“The Biblical concept of government is simple: do good, prevent evil,” he said.

He added that law enforcers are only permitted to kill in the act of self-defense.

Since it was launched in 2016, the war on drugs has received both praise and criticism from different camps.

Recently, all eyes have been on the Duterte administration’s flagship anti-illegal drugs program after the International Criminal Court (ICC) officially authorized on September 15, 2021 an investigation into thousands of alleged killings associated with the campaign. ####

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