A nation that hardly ever gets a mention in the international media has been making the headlines for the last few weeks. That nation is the Philippines and the headlines are about the attitude of their President, Rodrigo Duterte towards drug addicts and dealers. If I were Filipino I would be annoyed, the international media gave the 2016 election just a little bit of attention and (apart from The Guardian) coverage of Typhoon Melor was appalling. So yes, if I was Filipino I was be annoyed. But despite what I have just said I am not going to say what Duterte is doing is ok. I think it is so wrong that I have signed Amnesty International petition asking the President to stop the encouragement of the killings, and have gotten into feisty debates with some Filipinos on Facebook (something that I hardly ever do).
This TED Talk convinced me that complete legalisation and a support system is the best way to deal with this addiction. I do not expect everyone to support legalisation but at least, I would hope a man who openly encourages the killing of people to not be supported as he is. People should be given people a second, third, fouth and fifth chance in life. We need to recognise that people can be selfish and self-centred, also they can make mistakes, but those mistakes should not mean life is over.
I know of this person who was a drug addict. Her addiction was so bad that she began stealing from her family so she could buy drugs. Of course, her family were angry when they found out but instead of throwing her out on the streets, they helped her get to rehab. After she completed the program at rehab she was able to get free from her addiction, she established a successful local business, got married and started her own family. And she is not the only one there are plenty of people who have overcome addictions. Sure addictions are hard to overcome but they can be beaten. With support, an addict can turn their life around. Yes supporting an addict can be long, hard and messy. You need patience and compassion. But that is why the killing of drug addicts is wrong. I think a person who says killing (of an addict) is the way to go, is a person who lacks patience and compassion. Killing an addict is soft and easy, supporting an addict takes courage and strength.
As for drug dealers: yes they have done wrong, and yes they should serve some time in prison but what about redemption? What about a reformed drug dealer who has served their time, who has realised the damage supplying drugs has done? Is not the Philippines a Christian nation? Is not Christianity a faith that teaches grace, forgivness and redemption?
The Philippines is a nation where abortion is illegal. It seems like Rodrigo Duterte is trying to change things with his three-child policy. But surely such a policy is rather inconsistent, surely he has to go further than that. How about fifty percent of pregnant women (in the Philippines) should be forced to have an abortion? I mean you never know future drug addicts and dealers might be aborted! Now of course I do not really think that. I am pro-life therefore I do not think anyone should be forced to have an abortion, no matter what their circumstances are. But I really believe you cannot be pro-life and support Dutertes’ three-child policy and his atticude towards addicts and dealers.
I should add that Ana Kasparian makes an important point by saying that what Duterte has said has put the lives of law-abiding Filipino citizens lives at risk. If someone has an issue or grudge with anyone they can kill them and just say that they are drug addicts or a dealer. As Duterte as President such people who would kill out of hatred and revenge are protected. This is no way to deal with criminals!
While writing this I have wondered if I am being unfair and judgmental. In the past, I have gotten really annoyed with people who have said things like Filipinos are stealing our job, or Filipino women are gold diggers. I have gotten annoyed because such comments are an unfair generalisations. I was angered by this blog (that makes the claim that God hates the Philippines and is punishing the nation with cyclones). I am saddened by the lost of life in the explosion in Daveo City. But I cannot be silent and not stand up for the addicts and challenging anyone who reads this to show grace to the dealers. I use to think the people of the Philippines were kind and caring, but how can someone who supports a man, who wants to kill their fellow human beings be such things?
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