All candidates for the upcoming 2022 polls, whether national or local, are being encouraged by the Philippine National Police to submit themselves for drug testing. This is even though a drug test is not part of the requirements to run for office.
PNP chief Police Gen. Dionardo Carlos released a statement that read, in part: “Although the PNP acknowledges that no law mandates the candidate to undergo a drug test, doing so will set an example to their fellow [compatriots] by proving that they aren’t users of illegal drugs.”
This was issued days after President Duterte made a claim regarding a presidential aspirant, who he did not name, being a cocaine user.
Carlos has tasked the Drug Enforcement Group of the PNP to investigate the issue as a fact-finding was “prompted” by the President.
“Whenever there is relevant information that comes,” Carlos stated, “we definitely conduct an investigation. As of this time, we are trying to get additional information on that matter.” He emphasized that sufficient evidence will dictate whatever next steps they take.
There could be no arrests done based on public disclosure alone, he added, though “a person with a history of drug use may be arrested if there is an outstanding warrant of arrest in connection with the drug offense.”
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who is a vice presidential candidate for next year’s polls, recently reinforced his appeal for politicians to undergo drug tests voluntarily in a radio interview.
“It should be up to every candidate to just voluntarily take a drug test, in order to show the electorate that he or she is clean. If he or she refuses, then we can all conclude what that means.”