by THE TERESIAN ASSOCIATION
An international lay organization
The Teresian Association has long been conscious of the dangers that illegal drug use and drug addiction pose, especially to our youth. Hence the Association in its Youth Ministry, has always cautioned people of all walks of life, especially the youth, of the dangers of addiction. The recent spate of arrests, surrenders and killings has made us, in no uncertain terms, realize the magnitude of this problem in our country.
While we appreciate the strong determination and full-blown action to combat the drug issue, we cannot but deplore the loss of lives that go with the process of eliminating the problem. The death count increases everyday and has created a climate of fear and bewilderment. The culture of death and impunity is subtly numbing our sensitivities and is damaging our social fabric. Conflicting stories with regard to the “how” and the “why’ and the “who” have made truth a very elusive thing.
We feel a certain satisfaction in knowing the root of the problem and identifying the perpetrators of this heinous crime, but we deplore the dubious reasons given for the many dead bodies mutilated and abandoned by the wayside or in fields. We condole with those who have lost their dear ones with or without reason, and families who grapple with fear and shame.
Equally sad is what has happened to our people. We have become a fragmented nation, one part approving of the happenings, the majority just silent or overwhelmed with fear, and a small group trying to appeal to good sense and hoping to put things in order.
We join organizations who do all they can to help combat the drug problem in the groups and communities within their reach.
We appeal to our national leaders and on the police force to observe due process in the exercise of their responsibilities. We make a plea to investigate the killings with due process that will restore trust in our leaders.
We call on all God-fearing people to stand for the truth that only God has a right to our lives for He is the only one who can give life and take life.
We call on all peace-loving Filipinos to prefer the way of conversion and rehabilitation rather than punishment. And finally we pray that the culture of forgiveness and Christian charity prevail in our beautiful land.
For the Teresian Association:
Gregoria A. Ruiz