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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 21, 2016
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Negros Oriental
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Choices We Make
with Benjamin Calderon


Benjamin CalderonThe significant increase of drug users who have “surrendered” has highlighted the need for increasing the capacity to rehabilitate the drug addicts. In Negros Oriental, drug surrenderees have reached a total of 7,538 as of yesterday.

Even if 10 percent were diagnosed to need professional medical care for rehabilitation that would mean we need shelter accommodations, trained medical professionals, money for food and medication for 754 persons, which are currently not readily available locally. So the attempt to solve one problem is connected to the rise of a related problem. Indeed, life and community development can be characterized as a series of problem solving or challenges.

A new attempt is being made to clean up the New Bilibid Prison with the deployment of Special Action Forces to the facility. The move is having new officers man the facility while phasing out the guards who are not trusted by the new authorities in charge. It is also reported that marines may find deployment also in the facility. So where do the current prison guards go, will they be retrained and assigned new duties and responsibilities?

Meanwhile, the Secretary of Justice has revealed that a contract of Php50 M has been issued to kill him per information evaluated as A1. So he joins our President and Chief of PNP in the list of those with contracts for their assassination allegedly issued by the drug lords whose business have been adversely affected by the war against illegal drugs waged by the administration.

When the Chief of the PNP visited NBP, it was reported that the officer took the time to personally “look the drug lords in the eye” or size up the opposition just like before a fight. We look forward to the success of the current authorities of regaining control over the NBP from the drug lords and our PNP Chief delivering an example knockout punch on the current war against illegal drugs.

Let us end with an anecdote that helps us remember that we are all connected to one another in some way. On their way to get married, a young Catholic couple is involved in a fatal car accident. The couple found themselves sitting outside the Pearly Gates waiting for St. Peter to process them into Heaven. While waiting, they began to wonder: Could they possibly get married in Heaven? When St. Peter showed up, they asked him. St. Peter said, "I don't know. This is the first time anyone has asked. Let me go find out,'" and he left. The couple sat and waited, and waited. Two months passed and the couple were still waiting. While waiting, they began to wonder what would happen if it didn't work out; could you get a divorce in heaven? After yet another month, St. Peter finally returned, looking somewhat bedraggled. "Yes," he informed the couple, "You can get married in Heaven." "Great!" said the couple, "But we were just wondering, what if things don't work out? Could we also get a divorce in Heaven?" St. Peter, red-faced with anger, slammed his clipboard onto the ground. "What's wrong?" asked the frightened couple. "OH, COME ON!," St. Peter shouted, "It took me three months to find a priest up here! Do you have any idea how long it'll take me to find a lawyer?"*

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