Duterte inaugurates rehab center in Nueva Ecija
After a brief tour of the privately operated Moscati Meadows Residential Treatment Facility, Duterte and his former special assistant Christopher Go chatted with local residents in Barangay San Juan.
Duterte inaugurates rehab center in Nueva Ecija
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - February 14, 2019 - 12:00am

LAUR, Philippines  —  President Duterte last night continued his advocacy against illegal drugs during the inauguration of a residential treatment facility here.

After a brief tour of the privately operated Moscati Meadows Residential Treatment Facility, Duterte chatted with local residents in Barangay San Juan.

The President threw basketballs before addressing the crowd.

“You can call God and intervene or continue to… drugs, I will kill you, period,” he said.

When he became President, Duterte realized he was fighting against people in government, from the customs bureau to the police, he said.

“I am happy that there are Filipinos, well-meaning ones, can help us,” he said, addressing the treatment facility’s founder, physician Sarah Joy Molleston.

Duterte told those who can afford to pay the price for treatment: “You can start rehabilitating your character and repair your brain.”

Substance abusers who cannot afford private help may seek treatment at government-funded rehabilitation facilities.

“My God, no quarters given, no quarters asked. I will not give a s**t, I will just kill you,” he said during his speech.

Duterte said the police and the military are “ready for the challenge” in his administration’s war against narcotics.

For her part, Molleston said she believes that drug offenders as well as other individuals with certain forms of addiction can be rehabilitated.

A balikbayan from the US, Molleston established the 50-bed treatment facility at her ancestral home.

While recovery from addiction relies on the personal will of an individual, Molleston said professional help also plays a major role.

“We never lose hope on a person,” said Molleston, an addictionologist.

“In fact, some of my patients (get discouraged) but I tell them, ‘I’ll show you’ and then I challenge them to come back when they are done. They really come back (to tell their story),” she said in an interview.

Going back to her hometown, she said it is time to give back to the Filipino community.

She said her team consists of a psychiatrist, addictionologist, primary care physicians, nurses, therapists, a psychologist, pharmacist, administrator, confessors, life coaches and vocational teachers.

“We have to teach them skills,” Molleston said, adding that she eyes enrolling patients in online courses.

The facility is named in honor of St. Guiseppi Moscati, also called the Doctor to the Poor. Moscati, an Italian, practiced medicine in Naples. He lived in the 20th century and was canonized in 1987.

Molleston saw a portrait of the saint during her stint at the Shrine of Lourdes in France, where she worked as a volunteer physician at Poste Secours Medical Clinic.

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