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Huwag bastusin ang buhay: End poverty to eliminate drugs – Bishop Bastes

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Obviously disturbed by the rash of deaths of suspected drug pushers and users in the country, a bishop in Bicol today called on the government to focus efforts on poverty alleviation instead of killing suspected individuals to stop the illegal drug trade in the country.

Outspoken Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said that most of those involved in the trade of illicit substances turn to peddling drugs to survive.

“Of course you must stop drug addiction,” according to Bishop Bastes, “but I don’t like the way they are killed even though there is only suspicion.”

Instead of killing them, the prelate echoed the call of cause oriented groups for government to accord drug users and pushers due process and extend assistance so “these poor souls can change their ways for the better.”

“Because the victims are very small, they are just small fish. The poor people, because of the poverty, they are engaged in drugs – both using and selling,” Bastes explained.

“If you are in the rural area, some people take drugs in order to forget the miseries of life. The first thing is really to make our people empowered by giving them a chance to live a quality life.”