Duterte showed no mercy during Jubilee Year — bishop

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THE ADMINISTRATION of President Rodrigo Duterte failed to show “mercy and compassion” in dealing with suspected drug pushers and users during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, a Catholic bishop has said.

“Hindi niya inunawa ang kalagayan ng mga tao. Hindi niya sila binigyan ng pagkakataong [magbago],” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in an interview with the Varsitarian.

An outspoken critic of Duterte’s bloody “war on drugs” that has led to the deaths of some 4,000 drug suspects, Pabillo said the reality was the opposite of the peace and order situation being claimed by the government as an achievement.

Pabillo added that nothing changed in the Catholic Church in the past few months that Duterte had been in office – it is still the same institution Filipinos have come to know, he said.

“What we do is still ‘critical collaboration.’ We collaborate with what’s good but we criticize what’s wrong,” Pabillo said.

Despite the tirades it has received from the Duterte administration, the Church will continue to help the government with its community-based drug rehabilitation programs, Pabillo stressed.

Rehab program

The Archdiocese of Manila, through Caritas Manila’s Restorative Justice Ministry, launched the Sanlakbay Para sa Pagbabagong Buhay Program last Oct. 23. The program seeks to provide rehabilitation to drug dependents and aid their families.

The UST Psychotrauma Clinic is among the organizations tapped to aid the Archdiocese in its drug rehabilitation program.

“Our team will be creating modules that focus on dealing with trauma, grief and loss that could be utilized in training volunteers in handling drug surrenderers,” Michael Edward Buenaflor, project coordinator of the UST Psychotrauma Clinic, said in an interview.

The Ruben M. Tanseco, S.J. Center for Family Ministries (RMT-CEFAM) is also contributing to the program through their three-way Gabay process of “teaching, training and treating” drug users.

“We help through the parish volunteers who will have teaching and training and then, hopefully, get some supervision through the weekly sessions, when they start applying their listening skills,” Fr. Teodulo Gonzales, S.J. priest-in-charge of RMT-CEFAM’s Research and Program Development said.

The modules will include 20 topics that will run over 10 weeks, every Wednesday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

The topics include the science of drug addiction, listening skills for understanding, mindfulness, anger management, laughter therapy and grief and trauma counselling.

“We wish to help save a few lives because we believe in the dignity of the persons as children of God. We believe in hope in healing or a culture of life as part of the good news of Jesus Christ,” he said.

Other organizations tapped to design and implement the modules of the program include the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

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