Pope’s call vs illegal drugs boosts Duterte’s own war ? Palace
Malacanang welcomed on Sunday the statement of Pope Francis on the need to combat the production, processing and distribution of illegal drugs worldwide, saying it is a boost in the Duterte administration's campaign against narcotics.
"We consider Vatican's remarks as a boost in our campaign as we battle the twin evils of crimes and drugs," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement.
He noted that the Pope's remarks during the Vatican conference held from November 29 to December 1, with the theme "Drugs and Addictions: An Obstacle to Integral Human Development," are not only relevant but "also timely when it comes to our country's present situation."
The Vatican News, quoting Francis, said that drug addiction is an open wound in the society, whose victims are ensnared into exchanging their freedom for slavery.
Aside from calling to stop production, processing and distribution of drugs globally, the Pope also urged governments to courageously undertake the fight against those who "deal in death."
"This is precisely the rationale behind the President's war on illegal drugs in the Philippines: to save the young and future generations of Filipinos from the drug scourge," Panelo said.
Contrary to the critics, he said "laudable developments" have been achieved by the Duterte government in the fight against illegal drugs.
This was despite the "noise" coming from the loud minority composed of President Rodrigo Duterte's detractors and critics in the country and abroad, he added.
Almost 5,000 individuals have already been killed in the war on drugs since Duterte assumed office in June 2016. Celerina Monte/DMS