Davao priority is rehab of users, says mayor
DAVAO CITY—Mayor Sara Duterte, the President’s daughter, sought to assure drug users here that the city government’s priority is still their rehabilitation amid a growing number of casualties in her father’s war on drugs.
“I assure you that the city government will always give priority to intervention programs and initiatives for the rehabilitation of citizens who are using drugs,” said Sara, in a statement read for her by her chief of staff, Raul Nadela, during the 14th anniversary of the Davao City Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Drug Dependents (DCTRCDD).
“Help us help you,” said Sara’s statement, which was noticeable for being in stark contrast with statements made by her father who had repeatedly warned that his war on drugs would be very bloody.
Mr. Duterte had once described users of shabu as hopeless, saying use of the drug shrinks the brain and turns the user into a “zombie.”
Sara, in her statement, said all that a user needed to do is have the desire to reform to be able to avail himself of help from the city government.
The mayor has been shunning public appearance due to a delicate pregnancy. She is now expecting a child after losing two of the triplets she was carrying in September.
She urged wards at the DCTRCDD to seize the chance to overcome drug dependence by being resolute in their desire to reform.
Through DCTRCDD, she said she hoped wards now at the center, at least 110, would “overcome this problem, live a life away from drugs and reunite with families who truly love and care for you.”
Sara also urged parents of wards at the center to help, too. “We need your help so they do not relapse and their stay here won’t be wasted,” she said.
She said she wants users to “return to society not just as proactive citizens but also as individuals enthusiastic about life, pursuing their dreams and contributing to nation-building and development.”
Perla Redulosa, DCTRCDD assistant manager, said the center could now accept more wards after the completion of a new building that cost P6.6 million. It was funded by the Dangerous Drugs Board.
“This is home away from home,” Redulosa said. —ALLAN NAWAL
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