Police units open to voluntary drug tests for local poll bets

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said local police offices would welcome candidates vying for local posts in next year's polls who want to undergo drug tests.

“We are also checking on the different police stations and units if there are local candidates who are requesting the PNP for a drug test. None so far,” said PNP chief, Gen. Dionardo Carlos, in a statement.

As this developed, the PNP Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) clarified that information gathering and validation are still ongoing for the alleged cocaine-using presidential candidate as claimed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Carlos has entrusted the work to the PDEG to identify and monitor the subject of such pronouncement from the Chief Executive.

He added that while more candidates have submitted themselves to voluntary drug tests, it should be understood that the PNP can only commence investigation when a positive result comes out from the drug testing.

Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 also provides further police intervention in cases of confirmed drug use.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec), however, earlier said the use of prohibited substances is not a ground for an aspirant to be disqualified from running in an election.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said this measure implemented for candidates in past elections was rejected by the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, Manila Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso, who is running for president, underwent voluntary drug testing at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) headquarters, where he tested negative for narcotics such as shabu, marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, among others.

Davao City Mayor and vice presidential aspirant Sara Duterte's drug test results released on Wednesday also showed she was negative for several illegal substances.

On Monday, Senator Panfilo Lacson and his running mate, Senator Vicente Sotto III underwent a drug test at the PDEA headquarters in Quezon City, which yielded negative results.

Also on Monday, former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos said he underwent drug testing at a private hospital in Metro Manila and furnished a copy of the negative results to PDEA. (PNA)

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