MCGI and Duterte's Fight Against Illegal Drugs
Recent news and developments prove that the drug menace have had infested considerable sections of the Philippine society. The surrender of thousands of drug users and pushers, the death of around 103 suspected criminals with drug related activities, and the involvement of 5 high ranking police officers in the illegal drug trade, are clear indications that President Rody Duterte was right when he declared to wage war against illicit drug trade. Duterte was inaugurated as the Philippines’ 16th president at noontime, June 30 of this year, promising, “change is coming.”
According to a report in Asian Journal by Eric Anthony Licas (“The Pres. Duterte effect: Thousands of drug pushers, users surrender,” July 6, 2016) –
Almost 1,400 alleged criminals surrendered to the authorities in Quezon City, Taguig, Pasay and San Juan, two days after the president officially took office on June 30. In Leyte, Sarangani, Rizal and Pampanga, over 1,100 people turned themselves in to police. Prior to Duterte’s inauguration, more than 200 people from Agusan del Sur and Sarangani had also submitted themselves to police custody in June.
In a related development, close to 4,000 suspects as drug pushers and users packed an auditorium on Saturday, July 9, in Tagum City around 80 kilometers from Davao, where Duterte served as mayor for two decades, police said. (http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/07/09/16/thousands-of-drug-pushers-users-in-biggest-surrender-under-duterte)
Now that people are voluntarily presenting themselves to authorities to evade prosecution and to avail of the rehabilitation program of the government, what should every conscientious Filipino do? To heal the wounds created by the greedy and their accomplices, by the willing and unwilling victims of prohibited drugs, this gargantuan task needs the support of the entire society.
The addiction that colonizes the mind and the body is not as easy as urinating to expel the poisons processed by the liver and the kidneys. Addiction dominates the mind, the perception, even the feelings and the sentiments of the victim. What then will be our society's solution to these complicated problems?
Scientifically, rehabilitation to bring back the normal physiological condition of a human being cannot be done overnight! There must be a firm and continuing process to normalize the mind, the perception, the fears, and feelings of a drug addict. To be addicted to prohibited drugs is just like putting everything into disarray and disorder.
Is there hope? The human body is an adaptable organism. Its capability to adapt to any given situation is a natural process of survival, but it is prone to act and do the opposite. It is much like when the body's immune system turns out to be doing the opposite, causing autoimmune diseases of the body like psoriasis, rheumatism, and such like.
What I am saying is, rehabilitation, if not impossible, is very difficult without the serious concern of the victim and the people around him! Caring for a drug addict is just like and at times much difficult than caring for a baby where you must go back to where "zero" begins! In caring for a baby, you can start at zero!
I believe we need these intangible and tangible tools for the work of rehabilitation: Compassion, concern, love, patience, understanding, and faith in the Creator of life.
One rehabilitated person is just like two lives saved if he is married, or three or five lives saved if he is with children, or a big family, or just like an entire nation or society saved, and in our case the entire Philippines saved.
For this, we, the Members Church of God International (MCGI) are one with our President and the entire police establishment in the country for this great task of rebuilding our beloved nation. We are willing to help with our prayers, with our pockets (though we have little), with our programs in television and in radio, to disseminate information and counseling in areas where they are needed.
Our hearts are moved by these words of Christ and his examples mentioned in the Bible -
MATTHEW 5:7, 9
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
The Bible clarifies that there are indeed children of disobedience, given to the desires of the flesh.
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
That there is spiritual wickedness in high places that one must struggle against.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The Creator of life clearly abhors the works of the flesh mentioned in these verses -
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
“And such like” would easily accommodate drug-dealing, pushing, using – the first, the second, and the third, because they destroy lives. The Bible summarizes lusts of men as sin and gives an injunction to cease.
Focusing on what we can do, I was saying, rehabilitation, if not impossible, is very difficult without the serious concern of the victim and the people around him. And this is where spiritual help can come in.
Living in Christ is a renewed life – a great part of change that the Duterte administration promised.
I PETER 4:1-3
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
If we pay attention to these drug addicts and help in their rehabilitation, it is doing the work for Christ.
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
All these afore-cited verses are words of God. We can draw strength and hope from them to help the victims of drug addiction!