Palace rejects psychologists’ call for ‘scientific, humane approach’ vs drugs
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday rejected the call of a group of psychologists for a “scientific and humane approach” in addressing drug addiction in the country.
In a statement on Monday, the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) expressed opposition to the government’s style in battling drug addiction, noting that simply criminalizing drug use and drug users has been proven ineffective in other countries.
PAP even stressed that the Philippine Mental Health Law, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law last June 2018, recognized drug addiction as a disease where “people can recover from and manage their addiction with appropriate treatment and support.”
“We in the Psychological Association of the Philippines oppose the current approach of criminalizing drug use, with its attendant programs that vilify drug users, violate human rights, and disregard legal and due process. Criminalizing drug users has been shown in other countries to be ineffective in solving the drug addiction problem,” the group said.
“Addiction can be successfully dealt with using both residential and non-residential or community approaches,” it added.
However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo claimed that since government employed its war on drugs, it has “dismantled… a huge chunk of illegal drug apparatus.” He also boasted about establishment of rehabilitation centers “all over.”
“We have dismantled, in fact, a huge chunk of the illegal drug apparatus,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“We are not limiting our solution to the arrest of those involved in the drug industry. We are also having rehabilitation centers established all over, so two-pronged eh, aarestuhin mo, may rehabilitation at the same time,” he added.
Since taking power in 2016, Duterte has made his crackdown on drug users and dealers the focal point of his administration, continuing the brutal campaign against illegal drugs which he used in Davao City while being its mayor.
Local and international human rights watchdog have expressed their opposition to Duterte’s drug war, citing alleged violations of human rights, which the government vehemently denied. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.