Pakighinabi: War on Drugs

Monday, August 29, 2016

Last August 18, my university held a Pakighinabi session on the war on drugs in the Philippines. A Pakighinabi is a conversation series, it’s like an open forum of some sort wherein speakers are invited to engage an inner circle in open discourse and members of the outer circle can listen and pose comments and questions afterwards.

For this Pakighinabi they invited Bro. Karl Gaspar, the academic dean of the St Alphonsus Theological and Mission Institute, and General Dennis Servio, the chief of the Philippine National Police Human Rights Office. The members of the inner circle were from different fields- there was an army general, a moral theologian, a rep from PDEA, two attorneys, an international studies expert, the president of AdDU, and a priest. It was refreshing, to hear insights from varying viewpoints, especially since it was a really controversial topic.

Students weren’t allowed to listen in on this Pakighinabi, maybe at the request of the PNP because of the sensitivity of some information they shared, but our Director knew that I was really interested in the topic so he tapped me on the spot to photograph the event just so I could get in. He’s such a dad!

I just really hope that they’ll have another forum next time, this time open to the public. The amount of information I digested in the entirety of the Pakighinabi, around four hours give or take, gave me a whole new perspective on the war on drugs. I learned a lot of stuff that I never would have heard from the media. It was a heated intellectual discussion that I hope everyone could have heard.

Photos taken using Astrid the Canon 600d + a Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 lens that I definitely do not recommend to anyone

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