HomeNewsManila's homeless, 'drug war' victims express hope for gov't 'on our side'

Manila’s homeless, ‘drug war’ victims express hope for gov’t ‘on our side’

"When we say holistic, we can never separate the political, social, and cultural from one another," said the Father Flavie, adding that it is "part of one’s faith expression"

Homeless families and victims of the government’s “war on drugs” expressed hope for a government “that’s on our side” in a play staged last week.

The play titled “May Kalinga at Paghilom sa Kulay Rosas na Bukas” explicitly supported the candidacy of Vice President Leni Robredo in the coming presidential election.

The activity was part of the programs of the Arnold Janssen Kalinga Foundation of the Society of the Divine Word congregation.

“We have always followed the pattern of dignified, systematic, and holistic [development],” said Divine Word missionary priest Flaviano Villanueva, who established the programs to help victims of the “drug war.”

“When we say holistic, we can never separate the political, social, and cultural from one another,” said the priest, adding that it is “part of one’s faith expression.”

Father Villanueva, popularly known as Father Flavie, said that during the brainstorming sessions for the activity, the beneficiaries of the program decided to go for a “political play.”

“It is their discernment,” said the priest. “We respect that and we will so delightfully support their choice,” said Father Flavie.

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Leila, who lost her only son during a police drug operation, said she is hopeful with the coming elections.

Kapag nakita ng tao ang aming palabas, malalaman nila ang aming kwento, na hindi totoo ang sinasabi ng mga police sa media, na ‘yung mga nakitang droga at baril sa mga bangkay ay hindi sa amin,” she said.

Homeless families and relatives of those who died in the Philippine government’s ‘war against drugs’ stage a play ahead of the May 9 national elections. (Photo by Vincent Go)

Authorities have repeatedly justified the killing of suspected drug users and peddlers who allegedly fought back during police operations.

“We want [Robredo] to win so that the government would be on our side,” said Leila, adding that at least they would finally get justice for their loved ones.

In October, Robredo vowed to assist the families of “drug war” victims once elected into office.

Human rights groups claimed that thousands of people were killed in the government’s “war” against drugs.

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