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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, August 6, 2013
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Drug tests for bets urged

The director of the Department of Interior and Local Government in Region 6 is pushing for the implementation of random drug testing on candidates for the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in October, and in succeeding local elections.

Evelyn Trompeta, who was guest speaker at the 11th Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency anniversary celebration in Iloilo City, yesterday said that recent operations of the PDEA revealed the involvement of several barangay captains in illegal drug activities.

This prompted them to propose the reinstatement of random drug tests for all candidates in the Barangay and SK elections and the succeeding local elections, she said.

In an interview, Trompeta said they are proposing a random sampling because they do not know if those officials who are running are seeking an elective post just to hide their identities when they are involved in illegal drugs activity.

Acting PDEA regional director Ronnie Delicana said they support the move because he believes this will help reduce the risk of barangay officials being involved in the sale or use of illegal drugs.

They have been receiving requests for the conduct of barangay clearing operations, he said.

Trompeta said the DILG will continue its support to PDEA as it monitors the forceful compliance and the mandates of the local chief executives as heads of the Peace and Order Councils and Anti-Drug Abuse Councils to promote peace and order and a drug-free nation.

She said they also urge the Department of Justice to increase drug courts in the region.

“There are so many contributing factors that make illegal drugs thrive in our country. Not all of these factors can be controlled to give comprehensive solution to the problem,” Trompeta said.

“But by working in close coordination with the DILG, PDEA, the Philippine National Police, local government units and the community, we can significantly limit the effects of the proliferation of illegal drugs,” she said.

Trompeta said they are proposing to conduct a summit on peace and order, which will orient POC and ADAC chairmen, and will also serve as an orientation for all DILG personnel as head of the respective secretariat of the lower POC.

Meanwhile, the PDEA distributed certificates of appreciation during their anniversary to Iloilo City Regional Trial Court Judges Fe Gallon Gayanelo, Victor Gelvezon, Raymund Joseph Javier, and Prosecutors Melwin Sustento and Domingo Laurea, Miag-ao Mayor Macario Napulan, Police Chief Insp. Dandi Deocampo of the Iloilo City Police Office, and Fr. Esperidion Celis.*CGS

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