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Sanlakbay: A church-based drug rehab initiative

  • Written by Clifford T. Sorita
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 445

Our best kept secret

HIS Eminence Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, D.D. will lead the launch of “Sanlakbay para sa Pagbabagong buhay” program tomorrow (October 23, 2016), 10 a.m. at the Manila Cathedral.

Sanlakbay is the preventive phase of Restorative Justice Ministry of Caritas Manila aimed at helping in the healing, rehabilitation and restoration of the drugs surrenderers and their families through spiritual formation, counseling, livelihood projects and skills formation training.

It brings together the resources in the parish community and coordinates with the Local Government Units parti­cularly with the Barangays to facilitate effectively and efficiently all legal requirements in the implementation of the rehabilitation process.

The parish community-based rehabilitation program will be set up in different parishes to reach more people. The general orientation for all parish volunteers from Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong and San Juan has already been conducted at the Sta. Clara de Montefalco Parish last October 15. The second orientation will be held at the Sta. Isabel College today, the day before the launch of the program for volunteers from Manila City parishes.

Sanlakbay program is the response of the Catholic Church to the rising concern in handling the influx of thousands of drug surrenderees resulting from the present administration’s war on illegal drugs. According to the official record of the Philippine National Police (PNP), there had been 734,231 illegal drug pushers and users who surrendered in “Oplan Tokhang” as of October 6, 2016.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) reported that 1,138 drug personalities were killed nationwide following the implementation of “Oplan Double Barrel” from July 1 to September 17 this year.
The PNP also reported that 17,319 drug personalities were arrested in 18,832 police operations over the same period.  Oplan Double Barrel was launched by PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa to target both big-time and small-time drug pushers.
Also, the Sanlakbay program shares the same vision with “Mamamayang Ayaw Sa Anomalya, Mamamayang Ayaw sa Iligal na Droga” or “MASA MASID” and with the “Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan” or “UBAS” which is to bring together barangay officials and religious groups for programs on good governance and community development to stop the spread of illegal drugs, as well as corruption and criminality.
In his letter, “According to which an Indulgence is granted to the Faithful on the occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy” Pope Francis said that “the Jubilee Year has always constituted an opportunity for great amnesty, which is intended to include the many people who, despite deserving punishment, have become conscious of the injustice they worked and sincerely wish to re-enter society and make their honest contribution to it.”
The Sanlakbay program includes Caritas Manila’s Restorative Justice Ministry, Center for Family Ministries, University of Santo Tomas (UST) Graduate School Psycho-Trauma, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Caritas Manila, the social development arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, runs the Restorative Justice Prison Ministry intended to the development of the prisoners and the correctional community based on the principles of Restorative Justice (RJ).
Restorative Justice is a process whereby parties with stake in a particular offense come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offense and its implications for the future. It is based on the attitude of our Lord Jesus Christ who sought them out, aided and reconciled them with the Father. The Restorative Justice Prison Ministry is a special ministry of the Church through Caritas in the development of the correctional community based on the principles of Restorative Justice (RJ).
The program conducts (Pa-Release-Me): paralegal assistance, religious studies (bible study, catechesis), livelihood training, education, advocacy, services for social action, and medical assistance.
Caritas Manila is still accepting volunteers, for inquiries, please call 564-0205 loc. 32 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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