Editorial

The clergy contra drugs

WE can understand why the PNP leadership seeks to involve the clergy in its Double Barrel Reloaded campaign in the war on drugs. After all, didn’t the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) manifest its support for the campaign vs. drugs? We believe PNP’s intent is well meaning and not a propaganda ploy as suspected by the CBCP.  However, we feel that the envisioned involvement – to make priests accompany police operatives in buy-busts or in serving warrants– is sorely misplaced for it unnecessarily exposes the non-combatant priests to danger.

Where the clergy can possibly help in the national effort to save families from the clutches of vicious drug syndicates is to reach out to known drug personalities in barangays and provide spiritual counseling even before they are arrested or become targets of the war. However, for our priests to fully appreciate their role in the campaign, they must be given full access to data provided by the Anti-Drug Advisory Councils in either the town or barangay levels.

Simply, our suggestion is to amend the mechanics of Oplan Tokhang by leaving it to the clergy and other NGOs to implement it their way, without the involvement of the police. However, coordination with the town’s police will become necessary.

The clergy’s participation in this mode will serve the moral aspect of the war –  saving lives where it can and paving the way for rehabilitation of drug personalities without need for police intervention.

But if the clergy would still refuse to help in the effort, then it loses the moral ascendancy to charge the PDEA and police operatives of abetting violence in the campaign against illegal drugs.

 

Liar Lascanas

IF you can believe what a confessed liar says in his second appearance in a Senate hearing, you must be someone not from this planet.  Look, the confessed liar had done the first lying under oath.  Next, he was allowed to take an oath again before a similar august Senate body “to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.”

By allowing Arthur Lascanas to strut his wares at surefire lying a second time, did we not give the world a second chance to laugh at us, to laugh at our stupidity, if not idiocy, again?  How do we truly call that—double whammy, right?

The first time he testified in the Senate, Lascanas said there was no Davao Death Squad.  “Matobato was lying,” he said.  He came back to the Senate months later to say he had lied.  He said “spiritual awakening” drove him to recant his first testimony. If he would change his mind a third time, what might be his reason?  Mental imbalance?  Seems like it.

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