Please don't kill my father
Just like President Duterte, I hate drugs. I want to eradicate it in this society. Almost every day, I ask myself why does it have to exist. More than its societal impact, it also destroyed my family 20 years ago.
I am a daughter of a drug-dependent – or what people today call a drug addict. I was 3 back then when my mom finally decided to escape our house with me and my younger brother. We were 5, but my mom had to leave my two ates and kuya because she needed more time and resources. She knew 20 years ago that she needed to save us from a hellish life with my father.
Aside from torturing my mom physically and emotionally whenever he was "high," my father had to let my mom do all the work: earn for our family and pay our debts which we incurred due to my dad's addiction. Almost all our properties were sold and my mom had to stretch everything just to keep us alive.
But that was not the reason why we had to leave.
My father suffered from a serious mental disorder because of drugs. My mother knew that hallucinations occur among drug users. But my father suffered hallucinations far more serious than the usual. He became schizophrenic. His hallucinations came to a point were he would tell stories to my mom about how a father killed his kids somewhere near our area – stories that resembled our family. My mom was so threatened and knew that something had to be done before my father killed everyone of us.
Starting from scratch
That was the beginning of my mother's struggle.
She had to start from scratch. My kuya had to stay in my lola's care; my two ates had to leave their schools and transfer to another province with us; and me and my younger brother had to accept the fact that we will no longer have a chance to experience a normal family. Our family suffered a lot just because my father did drugs.
My father could have been a better father if he did not take drugs. He could have put those medals on me during my graduation day or had the chance to watch my brother during his competitions at school. He could have walked my ate and kuya on their wedding days.
But because drugs happened – all that is left in us is our hope that no other family would suffer for the same reason.
Drugs had been killing more families ever since. More than the stigma that it gives to the families and individuals suffering from it, drug destroys families and children's dreams.
Care, don't kill
What I understand from our story is clear: it has to end. And by ending it, we need not to kill and end lives. More than the hate that we are feeling towards the drug user, we need to show compassion and care. After all, as Filipinos, we are known to be the most caring people in the world.
Despite my father's mistakes, I am still thankful that after a decade, my mom and my siblings decided to send him to a rehab center rather than hate him and let him die in the field.
I know for sure that just like me, there are daughters of drug addicts out there who would choose to send their fathers to institutions who will cure and care for them.
These daughters might be saying the same prayers just like me. Please don't kill our father. He needs love more than your judgment of ending his life. – Rappler.com
(Editor's note: The author volunteered to write this piece on condition that we don't use her real name. We agreed to her request given the perspective that she brings as we debate the ongoing war on drugs. She works in government and lives in Makati.)