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11月30日のまにら新聞から

Duterte opens big drug rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija

[ 384 words|2016.11.30|英字 ]

President Rodrigo Duterte opened a mega drug rehabilitation center inside a military camp in Nueva Ecija on Tuesday which could accommodate some 10,000 drug dependents.

Duterte thanked Chinese businessman Huang Rulun for financing the Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (Phase 1) at Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City.

He described Huang as "a good Samaritan" who came to his office and offered to fund the rehabilitation center.

"He just came out of nowhere and went to my office and said he would help me solve the drug problem because he heard that…‘Well, Duterte instead of killing the drug people, why don’t we just, you know, build something like this?’," the president said.

Huang said he donated P1.4 billion to build two phases of the rehabilitation center in 100,000 square meter lot.

The first phase, which was opened Tuesday, is 60,000 square meters and can accommodate 10,000 patients and more than 1,000 staff and employees, Huang said.

Duterte said other countries and international organizations should be like Huang who offered to help in addressing the serious problem on illegal drugs instead of criticizing and humiliating an ally.

"When you are a friend, you do not treat him badly before the public. You do not humiliate an ally. At all costs, you must save the friendship as an ally and friend so that you can help each other in the world of geopolitics," Duterte said.

The United Nations, United States, European Union and human rights groups have been criticizing Duterte for the alleged extrajudicial killings of suspected drug personalities.

Health Secretary Pauly Jean Ubial said opening the mega rehabilitation center was historical as drug surrenderees would have another chance to regain their life and to become a productive part of society.

She admitted that with the huge number of drug "surrenderees," reaching to over 780,000, existing public and private drug rehabilitation centers could not accommodate them.

She noted there were only 44 treatment and rehabilitation centers nationwide and these could only accommodate 3,000 patients.

"Clearly, we lack facilities to cope with the demand," she said.

Duterte said he wants a similar mega rehabilitation center in Visayas. He earlier said that he there should be another one in Mindanao.

He also vowed to fight the drug problem in the country until he steps down from office. Celerina Monte/DMS