Drug test for bets supported

THE Central Visayas police chief agreed to conduct surprise drug tests on the candidates for the midterm elections in May.

Chief Supt. Debold Sinas said that if politicians tested positive of drug use, it should be announced in public to guide the voters.

He said Police Director General Oscar Albayalde also wants a drug test for the candidates.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino said he favors surprise drug tests on election candidates.

For Sinas, he said the move can help prevent suspected narco-politicians from winning.

The mandatory drug tests, however, only happen when the midterm election aspirants win in the elections.

Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Chairman Catalino Cuy urged the candidates to submit to a mandatory drug test after they are elected as public officials.

The DDB has regulations for the institutionalization of drug-free workplace policy in all government offices.

Meanwhile, some political aspirants in Cebu City agreed to a mandatory drug test after they are elected as public officials.

But for Commission on Election (Comelec) Cebu City North District election officer Marchel Sarno, the drug test is not among the requirements provided under the Constitution in running for a public post.

While this developed, former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama said the police should identify and name the drug lords in Cebu before coming up with a conclusion that drug money is used in the elections.

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, who is running for mayor; Councilor Mary Ann de los Santos and Rama, who are running for vice mayor, support the idea of letting the candidates undergo a drug test.

“I fully agree to that. I’m the author of an ordinance that requires a drug test as a pre-employment requirement and mandatory drug test for the employees of the City. That is in consonance with my advocacy that those in public service must be drug free,” Labella said.

For her part, de los Santos said she is ready to undergo a drug test anytime and anywhere to show that those in public office are clean and not into illegal drugs.

Rama, for his part, had already submitted to a drug test as part of his effort to delete his name from alleged drug protectors named by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.

On the issue on politicians using drug money during the elections, Rama said the police should identify the drug lords to warn the public on who not to vote.

The Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Office (Cpadao) supports PDEA’s plan to require aspiring candidates to undergo mandatory drug testing.

Carmen Remedios “Ivy” Durano-Meca, Cpadao executive director, agrees that all candidates should undergo a drug test.

She recalled that in 2007, some aspiring candidates were required to undergo a mandatory drug test before they were allowed to run.

But for Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Marco Castillano, the Comelec cannot require candidates to undergo drug test since there is no enabling law.

He said there was a proposed amendment to Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act back in 2010 that required those running for public office to undergo a drug test.

The Supreme Court ruled the provision “unconstitutional” and so the proposed amendment was scrapped.

Castillano said candidates who underwent a drug test before running for public office could be advantageous since it will clear them of any involvement in illegal drugs. (RVC, KAL, JKV)

Source: Local News

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