11 drug suspects take ‘walk of shame’ in Batangas

Arnell Ozaeta - The Philippine Star
11 drug suspects take âwalk of shameâ in Batangas
WALK OF SHAME: Photo from Tanauan City’s Hope Facebook page shows 11 suspected drug pushers marching in a mock Santacruzan yesterday. Under the shame campaign dubbed ‘Flores de Pusher,’ the suspects are paraded around the city while formal complaints are prepared against them.

BATANGAS, Philippines – Eleven suspected drug pushers, including a woman were made to take the “Walk of Shame” around the Tanauan City public market, time with the label “Flores De Pusher” marked on their shirts.

Tanauan City Civil Security Unit caught them selling and using illegal drugs in a buy-bust operation yesterday morning.

Mayor Thoni Halili had summoned and warned the known drug pushers to stop their illegal drug trade or face the consequences, according to the Tanauan City Public Information Office.

Halili has vowed to continue doing the Walk of Shame, despite the investigation of the Commission on Human Rights, until the proliferation of drugs in the city is stopped.

Last week, Halili made seven suspected drug pushers take the Walk of Shame and earned the support of the citizenry.

Police said the 11 suspected drug pushers will possibly be charged with illegal drug trade and possession after a thorough investigation.

Meanwhile, Fr. Jerome Secillano, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Public Affairs Committee executive secretary, said yesterday a pro-active police force is a better deterrent to crime than making suspected drug pushers take the Walk of Shame.    

“That so called ‘Walk of Shame’ is merely a reaction to a crime that has already been committed,” he said.

It is better to let the police  stop the commission of the crime, he added.

Secillano doubts that the method that Halili employs   would be effective.

“Criminals today do not have a sense of shame,” he said. “If they do, they wouldn’t have committed any crime at all.”  

On the other hand, Fr. Anton Pascual, Catholic Church-run Radio Veritas president, said people suspected of committing a crime should be given due process.

“It’s a good tactic to expose suspected drug users or pushers and effect change and deterrence,” he said.

“But we have to be cautious that people have rights and must be given due process under the law.”  – With Evelyn Macairan

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