Drug war in the Philippines

Updated 01 February 2017
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Drug war in the Philippines

This refers to the report “Duterte pulls police off drug war” (Feb. 1). This is a good move by Duterte, as it will minimize chances for corrupt policemen to harass innocent people for their vested interests under the guise of cracking down on drug addicts. There must be concrete proof against drug addicts, and only an appropriate punishment should be meted out. After all, if half the country’s population was addicted to drugs, would they all be killed?
Along with taking stern action against drug addicts, there should be ample rehabilitation centers nationwide, and treatment should be sponsored by the government for free. Many people may want to be rid of their drug addiction but cannot afford treatment.
No doubt Duterte’s intention is good, and we should appreciate his stance against drug addiction, which has been spreading like a plague in the Philippines. But he must approach his goal with caution, and the use of police must be judicious.


Cartoon in bad taste

Updated 07 August 2017
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Cartoon in bad taste

I wish to use my “right of reply” to complain about the unfortunate caricature that appeared on Aug. 5, 2017, in your well-known newspaper. The cartoon represents President Nicolas Maduro sitting on a military tank and a hand coming out of the tank’s cannon writing on a book titled “New Constitution.” Such a caricature is offensive to my country.
What the caricature seems to imply is that President Maduro wants to rewrite a new constitution with the power of arms. This is totally false. It is immoral to give your readers such a forged image of Venezuela and its constitutionally- and democratically-elected government.
The revision of our constitution, which is among the best in the world, is mainly to reinforce it and make it more adaptable to the new times. It is not an imposition of our president; it has been backed by more than 8 million Venezuelans and has the objective of re-establishing the peace process that has been trampled by a violent opposition backed by interested foreign countries that pretend to give orders to our sovereign populace.
I fail to understand why some international media report fake news about my country, with the purpose of undermining our sovereignty, and the people of Venezuela’s absolute right to decide, in a free and independent manner, how it wants to conduct its internal affairs.
I invite your newspaper to inform about our country with the truth and the same respect that we, in Venezuela, treat to our brothers of Saudi Arabia.

Joseba Achutegui
Ambassador of Venezuela
Riyadh
Saudi Arabia