Issue of March 4, 2018
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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MP church vows to back Oplan Tokhang
by Angel Baybay

BONTOC, Mountain Province – A representative of the Catholic Church here assured the church’s support to the government’s war on drugs as long as due process and respect to human life is observed in all stages of the campaign.

Rev. Fr. Michael Tokoyen, Santa Rita Parish priest, expressed the church’s willingness to work with stakeholders in the fight against illegal drugs and save those who were lured into using illegal drugs because of curiosity, family problems, and peer pressure.

Toyoken said that the church supports the government’s “tokhang,” which the government re-launched, as long as the value of human life is upheld.

“We support this campaign, if we see to it that due process is (observed) and respect to human life must be a priority,” he said.

The priest recounted the various deaths in the country related to the drive against illegal drugs despite the bloodless ideals of the campaign.

“I believe “tokhang” is a peaceful way of dealing with those who abuse drugs. May it be implemented as such,” Toyoken said.

He said no one has the right to take one’s life.

“We do not own people; we do not own their life; and we are not God. We do not have the right, no matter how powerful we are, to take another’s life just because we want to,” he said.

Mountain Province Provincial Police Director Allen Ocden, through a representative, said the MPPO will do everything to solve the drug problem which has affected some of the province’s population.

Acting Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. said he said he will help raise public awareness on the adverse effects of illegal drugs through the conduct of information, education, and communication campaigns.

Lacwasan also said he has caused the funding of a crash course for people who will be involved in “tokhang” so they will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to implement it without violating human rights.

Last Wednesday, all sectors in the province converged at the multipurpose building to launch the Montanyosa Addiction Treatment and General Operations and sign a memorandum of agreement spelling out their responsibilities to keep the province drug-free.

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