Shame campaign against drug addicts in Lapu-Lapu City is a bad idea

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The Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO) chief on Tuesday described the shame campaign orchestrated by barangay officials in Lapu-Lapu City on Monday as intrusion of privacy.

Ivy Durano Meca said Barangay Pajo officials should have employed a positive approach in their campaign against drugs instead of shaming people suspected of using prohibited substances, adding that these people are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Last Monday, Barangay Pajo and police officials headed by Barangay Chairperson Junard Chan and Lapu-Lapu City police chief, Senior Superintendent Rommel Cabagnot, spray-painted “Identified Drug Den Area” on several houses suspected of being used for illegal drug activities.

Meca said the officials should have applied reverse psychology on suspected drug users. Instead of spray-painting “Identified Drug Den Area,” the officials should have put on “Drug Free” stickers to encourage the suspects to change their ways, the CPADAO head said.

If the houses or rooms have been positively identified as drug dens, Mecca said the police should have launched an operation against them and there’s no need to shame the suspects.

But Chan, who believes that shaming the suspects will convince them to stop their illegal activities, said the campaign in Barangay Pajo wpuldcontinue until the drug problem in the area was solved.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) planned to conduct an investigation on the said shame campaign in Barangay Pajo.

The CHR said the rule on the presumption of innocence must be applied and that only the courts have the authority to declare the guilt of the accused. (PNA)