For an article titled In Philippines’ War on Drugs, Dealers Choose Retirement Over Death, journalist Trefor Moss interviews Bridges of Hope Program Director Guillermo “Gimo” Gomez. The article, which was published July 14, reports on the thousands of drug dealers and addicts who have voluntarily surrendered themselves to police stations all over the country. This is in light of recently elected President Rodrigo Duterte’s blatant and bloody war on drugs in the Philippines.
Moss interviewed Gomez for the Wall Street Journal article, wherein Gomez answered questions on the state of rehabilitation in the country, especially since the sheer number of addicts seeking help have shown there’s a lack of rehabilitation centers to cater to them. According to Moss, there are only 45 rehabilitation centers in the nation, including Bridges of Hope, which has two facilities, one in Paranaque City and another in Quezon City.
In the report, Moss quotes Gomez saying that there’s been a huge demand for rehabilitation centers ever since May 9, when Duterte won the elections. Gomez adds that parents of addicts bring their children in their facility, afraid for their children’s lives due to the threat of police shooting.
Moss also mentions Gomez’ background as a recovering drug addict, who in the past have been taking shabu for 15 years. Today, Gomez helps give back to others to help addicts as a Program Director for Bridges of Hope.
The report, also mentions the addiction statistics in the country, with at least 10% of the population addicted or using drugs, with shabu or methamphetamine being the number one drug of choice by Filipinos.
Trefor Moss is a Manila-based journalist for The Wall Street Journal, an international daily newspaper based in New York City with the largest circulation in the United States by circulation (about 2.4 million copies and nearly 900,000 digital subscriptions). The WSJ has won 39 Pulitzer Prizes.