A total of 534 drug users who previously surrendered for admission into Quezon City’s (QC) drug rehabilitation program have completed the one-year treatment offered by the QC Anti-Drug Abuse Advisory Council.
The graduates were treated through counseling and rehabilitation through the council’s Community Based Treatment Program.
During the graduation rites held at the Quezon City Hall Covered Walk on Saturday, Vice Mayor Josefina “Joy” Belmonte lauded the success of the program as she acknowledged the difficulties faced by the surrenderees while undergoing treatment.
Belmonte stressed that while the war on drugs was a tough undertaking in Quezon City, the city never adopted a policy of killing people.
“When we started the war on drugs, we did not include in our policy killing drug users, neither did we say that it’s okay to kill drug users or pushers. Our battlecry is that one can change. Man was created by God, and man must be supported, loved, and given a chance to reform. We in Quezon City did not change it. It is still our policy and we believe that our stance has gained results today,” Belmonte said in Filipino.
QC Police District (QCPD) Director Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar congratulated the graduates and said that the QC is grateful for the partnership with the council that led to the reformation of the surrenderees.
Elazar said the rehabilitation program also responded to the surrenderees’ social needs for almost a year.
In his message, Eleazar said, “With this program, you were given a chance to live anew, reformed, rehabilitated and reintegrated to the community, and you are the living witness that we succeed in this campaign.”
He warned them, however, not to return to their old vices amid the police’s continuing crackdown on the illegal drug trade.