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Drug testing up to local execs – guv

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Heeding the call for proclaimed winners of the recent Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) to undergo drug testing before assuming office is up to the discretion of their respective local chief executives, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson disclosed yesterday.

Lacson made the statement in the wake of calls of Mayor Jerry Treñas for all barangay and SK officials in Iloilo City to undergo a drug test and to come clean before they assume office.

I leave it to the discretion of the municipal and city mayors, if they feel there is a need to call for a drug test of all winning barangay and SK officials, the governor said.

If you do that, you should also include yourselves, Lacson said, apparently referring to the mayors.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos earlier ordered random drug testing in all attached agencies and bureaus under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) as well as in all local government units (LGUs), as required under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The DILG supervises all LGUs (including barangays, municipalities, cities and provinces), the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection, and Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

Three of the more than 14,000 police officers in Western Visayas are currently facing dismissal from the police service after testing positive for the use of illegal drugs, according to reports of the Police Regional Office 6.

Abalos said that while the government is pushing supply reduction operations, there should also be demand reduction interventions, especially within its quarters.

Although he gave assurance of due process for government employees who test positive for illegal drugs, he noted that it could also lead to termination from service.*

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