Press Release
June 20, 2019

De Lima bats for more mental health professionals for EJK families

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has urged the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to offer programs for families who continue to suffer from so much pain and suffering for losing their loved ones to extrajudicial and summary killings.

De Lima, the staunchest critic of the administration's war on drugs, said the government should hire more mental health professionals who could assist the widows and orphans of the victims of extrajudicial killings recover from the traumatic incident.

"Our government should provide psychosocial help to EJK families who were left in pain after losing their loved ones to these killings. Hindi biro ang trauma na dulot ng patayan sa bawat pamilyang Pilipino," said the former justice secretary.

"These families should be immediately assisted by mental health professionals who could help them overcome the emotional stress, trauma, anxiety, and depression brought about by losing their loved ones to violence," she added.

Last June 6, Global Health NOW published an article entitled "Elderly Mothers Bear the Emotional Burden of the Drug War" detailing the untold sufferings of elderly mothers whose sons were killed in anti-drug police operations.

"Their sons had been dead for a year or more, but these mothers wept like it happened yesterday," wrote Bianca Franco, an Ateneo de Manila University researcher covering communities victimized by the government's all-out war on drugs.

Since Duterte launched his war on drugs in July 2016, about 28,176 individuals have died, 5,176 of whom are considered "drug personalities" while 23,000 are victims officially recorded under the category of "homicide cases under investigation".

"Kaakibat ng lumalalang patayan sa bansa ay ang pagdami din ng pamilya ng mga balo, biyuda at ulila na patuloy na nagdurusa dahil nawalan sila ng mahal sa buhay. Kailangan ng agarang tugon mula sa gobyerno upang muli silang makabangon mula sa pagkakalugmok," said the lady Senator from Bicol.

De Lima, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, urged the families of EJK victims to keep their hopes high amid their ordeal and to press on the fight against government abuses and violence.

"With persistence and collective action, the mass atrocities shall one day end. And the criminals, especially the madman in Malacanang who instigated all these killings, shall be put to justice," she said.

As early as 2016, it may be recalled that De Lima filed Senate Resolution No. 9 calling for a Senate investigation into the rampant extrajudicial killings and summary executions of suspected drug offenders in the country.

As the first prominent political prisoner who suffered grave injustice under the Duterte regime, De Lima remains unperturbed despite her illegal and unjust detention on trumped-up drug charges fabricated by the present government.

News Latest News Feed