Issue of May 13, 2018
     
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DILG proposes passage of law requiring candidates’ drug test
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

There could be more.

There may be several barangay officials who have been included in the drug watchlist of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine National Police and the Department of the Interior and Local Government but there could be more unless there is a mechanism where the government or the community will check if political candidates either use/peddle drugs or are protectors of the illegal trade.

At present, DILG-CAR Director Marlo Iringan said undergoing a drug test is voluntary and is not a requirement when seeking for elective positions. 

With the recent issuance of the PDEA of the list of barangay officials with links to illegal drugs, Iringan said Congress should pass a law making it mandatory for candidates to submit the result of a drug test prior to the filing of a certificate of candidacy.

Iringan said the DILG could not order candidates to undergo mandatory drug test on account of the fact that they also have rights to be protected.

Association of Barangay Councils-Baguio Chair Michael Lawana is also in favor of the mandatory submission of drug test. “I am in favor of the mandatory drug test. As of now, even those in the drug list may file their candidacy. It is not a basis for disqualification,” he said. 

Last week, 34 barangay officials in the Cordillera were identified as among the 207 local officials with alleged involvement in illegal drugs trade.

Of the eight incumbent punong barangays linked to illegal drugs, seven are in Abra and the eighth in Apayao.
Twenty-six barangay kagawads are also in the narco list.


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