CATBALOGAN CITY -- Perhaps to instill fear of death among Samar residents on the ill-effects of illegal drugs, an effigy of Grim Reaper was paraded Friday, October 13, in this city.
Grim Reaper, also known as “Death,” is a common element in culture and history that dates back to 14th century in England.
Last Friday, the Samar Police Provincial Office and the local government unit used this concept of inflicting fear to the residents that the use of illegal drugs, particularly methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, can cause death to everyone in the community.
The police paraded to public a life-size skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood, stepping on a dead body under him.
Beside the figure are human skulls, tombstones and “news of death” signboards.
The anti-drug rally was widely participated by almost all sectors of society -- members of the security forces, government workers, civil society groups, students and former users.
The rally, which is the first of its kind in Samar, formed part of the launching of the Masa-Masid or Mamamayan ayaw sa anomalya at Mamamayan ayaw sa illegal na droga, a community-based program for the prevention of criminality, corruption and proliferation of illegal drugs in the villages.
Since July 1, thousands of drug addicts in the country surrendered to police and subjected themselves for rehabilitation. Around 3,000 people were also killed during the 100-day anti-drug war of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Several personalities were also being questioned in the anti-drug war, while many issues on human rights violations and extra-judicial killings were reported, prompting the United Nations and international courts to be alarmed and interfere.
Masa-Masid is envisioned to unite different organizations in creating safer and drug-free communities. It encourages the involvement of local stakeholders to take a proactive stance in the fight against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.
Under the Department of Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular 2016-116, the program has four main thrusts: information and education campaign in communities for government programs against corruption, illegal drugs and criminality; creation of a reporting mechanism on illegal drugs-related activities; formulation of community-based rehabilitation programs; and revive the spirit of volunteerism by creating a volunteer-friendly atmosphere for organizations that wishes to be partners for change. (Sunnex)