Senior AB Sociology students, in partnership with UST Simbahayan Community Development Office, the UST Sociological Society, the UST Junior High School Social Studies Department, and Arts and Letters Student Council, held an advocacy forum entitled “Batas, Hindi Dahas: Advocacy Forum on Extrajudicial Killings” last November 23, 2016 at the Benavides Auditorium.
In support of social justice and human rights, the speakers discussed Extrajudicial Killings through Academic, Non-Government Organization Perspective, and Theological lenses. The speakers for this event were Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap Representative Mr. Michael Beltran, Ms. Marielle Marcaida, and Rev. Fr. Delfo Canceran, OP, respectively.
According to Beltran, the poor are the most vulnerable to illegal drug for the reason that poverty is at the core of drug proliferation; moreover, urban poor communities serve as a market for cheap labor.
Marcaida, citing the method followed in Switzerland in line with drugs, reiterated that decriminalizing drugs and allotting more budget in rehabilitation centers with free assistance would be an effective alternative instead of taking the lives of the poor.
“Instead of focusing on drugs, nakakapag-focus sila sa pag-papagaling sa kanila,” she said.
In relation to the Year of the Mercy, Fr. Canceran emphasized the sanctity on human life and metanoia (Change of Heart). “When you kill a person, it means that you rob his/ her chance to change his/her life.”
The forum emphasized that eradicating crime—or the ‘war on drugs’—should start with addressing the weaknesses in implementing the rule of law, rather than ‘fixing’ the problem by operating outside the law.