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Instead of 'execution', Kidapawan LGU to extend aid to 'recovering addicts'

Local News • 18:57 PM Tue Aug 9, 2016
Malu C. Manar

KIDAPAWAN CITY – Almost a hundred self-confessed drug dependents underwent profiling from the city social welfare office to determine the help the government could extend to them under a special project dubbed as Balik Pangarap.” City Mayor Joseph Evangelista has tasked the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) to get the family background, educational attainment, and other basic details of drug users who are willing to ‘change’ and eventually, ‘recover’ from their addiction. We now call them, ‘recovering addicts’,” said the mayor. The city government has partnered with the Narcotics Anonymous (NA), group of former drug users now helping other dependents go back to ‘mainstream society’ and become productive citizens of the country. Since July 1, more than 1,200 drug users and pushers surfaced at the city’s police station. But Evangelista clarified that not all of those involved in drug trade could become beneficiaries of their program. The mayor stressed that they could only extend help to recovering addicts”, which, unfortunately, based on their profiling, are few in number. On Monday, at least 171 ‘recovering addicts’ signed anew an affidavit of undertaking at the city police station.After which, they underwent thorough medical check-up at Call 911.Next, came the profiling done by CSWD. NA spokesperson Joel Aguirre said the profiling would help the city LGU determine what help they would extend to recovering addicts. Help is either through livelihood projects, educational assistance, or send them to a rehabilitation center,” he said. The NA is tasked to monitor how quick the ‘addicts’ could ‘recover’ from their dependence. The period will take nine months.After three months, each beneficiary will undergo drug test.We will meet them every Monday of the week for nine months.During this period, we will find out who among them are ready for the assistance under the Balik Pangarap Program,” said Aguirre. In Kidapawan City, since the launch of the campaign against illegal drugs, several individuals, all tagged as behind drug trade, were summarily executed. The latest victim, 22-year old Jun Batooy, survived a broad daylight attack on Monday. Records showed Batooy, a staunch campaigner of one of the local candidates who ran for office in May 2016, was once slapped with frustrated homicide and carnapping but the court dismissed the charges filed against him after the complainants failed to attend court hearings. Also, Batooy was among the many self-confessed users that surfaced at the police station on July 1. During the attack, he sustained three gunshot wounds on his feet and back. Reports said the victim was on his way to his house at the Tahran Subdivision here when gunmen, onboard a motorcycle, shot him on his back.The gunmen again pumped bullets onto his feet when he ran towards the squatters’ area to seek for cover. But continued loss of blood prompted him to seek help.Personnel from the Call 911 brought him to the nearest hospital for treatment.Relatives hinted drugs as the motive behind the attack.

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