Walking towards a new and better life
It is not too late to change for the better.
This was what Martha (not her real name) said to herself, the moment she decided to quit the habit a year after starting it upon the influence of her mother-in-law who sold illegal drugs.
“We still have time to prove to everyone. Give us a chance that we can change for the better,” the 38-year-old told Cebu Daily News.
Martha, a resident of Barangay Tangke, Talisay, was among participants of the Color Fun Run and Walk held in Cebu City on Sunday as part of the Drug Awareness and Prevention Week celebration organized by the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (CPADAO).
Martha said that what drove her to stop was the fear of government’s antidrug operations.
“We even have neighbors who were killed because of drugs. I am worried too because I have four children,” she told CDN.
Following the advice of her husband who works as a bagger in a mall, Martha then avoided her mother-in-law to be able to start a new life.
She voluntarily surrendered last July in Talisay City when Oplan Tokhang was launched by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Martha now sells siopao, barbecue and “tuslob buwa” to help her family’s needs after her husband helped her raise the capital for her small business.
During the event, Martha brought her 7-year-old son, the youngest of four children.
Young drug surrenderers also joined the five-kilometer walk like 16-year-old Aldrin and 17-year-old Justin (not their real names) from Bogo City who are also real-life friends.
Both admitted that they started to use drugs last year due to peer pressure, cheating their parents out of their hard-earned money just to be able to buy drugs.
“If I continue using drugs, then I would not know what would happen to me. I’m still young, and I need to work for my future,” Aldrin, now on his tenth grade, told CDN.
“I was really scared when I saw how some were killed because of drug problem,” said Justin, who began to use illegal drugs during a drinking session with friends.
Wanting to regain their parents’ trust, Justin and Aldrin underwent the Rehabilitation and Reintegration (Re-Re) Program of the Bogo City government.
“It’s not too late for us to change. I believe that we can do better,” Justin said.
Close to 600 participants joined the fun run on Sunday morning.
Aside from drug surrenderers, other participants were personnel from the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Department of Education (DepEd) and some Capitol employees.
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