December 8, 2023

Dear Manang,
I am constantly in fear. I am afraid that my sons will get hurt because this world has turned violent. I don’t know who my sons are anymore because they suddenly stopped talking to me. They dropped out of high school last year because their father died. He was shot down by still unknown men. Before he died, he told me that people might look for him and that I should just say that he went to Ilocos. Even he seemed strange and distant. Whenever he came home, he gave me money and told me to spend it wisely. I heard from the corner store that like my husband, my sons were also taking drugs. What do I do?
Elisa of Gibraltar, Baguio City

Dear Elisa,
It seems like you live in a different world from that of your family. How come you didn’t notice all the changes in your family members? Their transformation should have told you that something was wrong. But that is the past and time can’t be brought back. Your sons need to be surrendered to the police. Here are some provisions of our law that you can find on the Internet, “If the drug dependent is a minor and has a pending case in court, he or she, together with his or her guardian, must secure a certification of suspended sentence from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) where the case is filed. Those found to fall under the first, second, and third levels can avail of out-patient services such as counseling.The drug dependent or a family member must fill out an application form and have it notarized as requirements for the petition for confinement. The form will then be filed with the RTC in the area where the drug dependent resides. If the drug dependent is a minor, parents or guardian can submit in his or her behalf.”
“In case of compulsory confinement, the family member of a drug dependent must execute an affidavit indicating that they are submitting the alleged drug dependent for treatment and rehabilitation. The Dangerous Drugs Board will prepare a petition for confinement and file the same with the RTC. Drug dependents who cannot afford a lawyer can avail of free legal counsel and representation from Public Attorney’s Office lawyers.”
It may not be this simple but when you ask for help, you may still be able to save your sons. Every child is worth saving.
Seek help,