Manila, Philippines, Oct 12, 2019 / 15:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Amid a United Nations investigation into a brutal “war on drugs” by Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, a Catholic bishop is calling for the country’s Department of Health (DOH) to take a more active health-centered approach to tackling the nation’s drug problem.
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, a city in metro Manila, said this week that intimidation and killings will not stop the problem of drugs in the country.
“I’ve been challenging the DOH to be more involved in drug rehabilitation because drug addiction is a mental health issue,” he said, according to Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) News.
David is a vocal critic of Duterte’s harsh tactics against drug users and dealers, and the government’s tactics have been a major point of contention with Catholic leaders for several years.
In 2017, the country’s bishops called for both a 33-day rosary campaign and a 40-day prayer campaign for peace.