Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has joined the call for candidates in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and barangay elections on May 14 to take a drug test.
The voluntary drug test among the candidates, according to Defensor, is one way to ensure that no barangay officials are involved in illegal drugs.
Recently, the Philippine National Police (PNP) proposed to require the candidates to submit themselves to a drug test.
“If I’m running as a barangay official or for any other elected position, I will volunteer to undergo a drug test if I’m not hiding anything,” said incoming PNP chief Director Oscar Albayalde.
Defensor said he was in favor of Albayalde’s proposal. “Maayo gid nga may drug test.”
But the governor clarified that the candidates cannot be forced to undergo a drug test because there is no law mandating such.
“Indi na sila mapwersa kay wala sa layi. Himuon lang nila nga boluntaryo,” Defensor said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec), in a report by ABS-CBN News, reiterated that the mandatory drug test is “unconstitutional.”
“Kung wala sa batas ang mandatory drug testing, hindi puwede maglagay ang Comelec ng panibago,” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.
Based on data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), 289 barangay officials “are allegedly involved in the drug trade.”
The filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the upcoming elections started on Saturday, April 14.IMT