CBCP chief slams ‘satans’ behind drugs trade
Officials of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines led by its president, Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao (center), hold a press conference after the CBCP’s plenary assembly in Manila, Jan. 28, 2019. ROY LAGARDE
By Roy Lagarde
April 2, 2019
The head of the Catholic hierarchy uttered harsh words against the continuing drugs trade in the country, labelling them as dealers of “death and darkness”.
Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, who heads the bishops’ conference, urged people not to be lured by the drug trade and never negotiate with “evil”.
“In the news we see not just thousands but billions worth of drugs. They are satans!” Archbishop Valles exclaimed.
He lamented that this could mean more young people and even families “destroyed”.
“We know very well that it destroys you physically, your future, you may become a murderer, all the darkness of drugs, we know the ending,” he said.
The archbishop was speaking during Mass to launch the archdiocese’s drug rehabilitation program at the St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Davao City on Sunday.
In his homily, he made a strong denunciation of the recent and continued shipments of illegal drugs being smuggled in the country.
While prevention of drug abuse is a priority, he also stressed on rehabilitation of drug victims and be brought back to the folds of society.
He said the church and other sectors must reach out to drug victims “even if to the world it is impractical”.
“Each person is precious to the eyes of God. That is a teaching that cannot be touched. Life is precious. No discussion about that,” Archbishop Valles said.
Originally started to help young offenders years ago, the Sagop Kinabuhi (Save Lives) Program (SKP) was relaunched in 2016 to help rehabilitate former drug users.
Since then, the program has expanded to more parishes to enhance the spirituality, morality, skills and educational capacities of drug surrenderees.
“This is the mark of the Catholic community, to be merciful and loving,” he said.