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Barbers wants Bgy and SK elections bets to take drug test

The chairman of the House of Representatives’ committee on dangerous drugs on Friday urged candidates in the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to undergo a voluntary drug test.
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said he would write a letter to the Commission on Elections requesting to set a timeline for the conduct of the test and submission of the results.

Barbers said the poll body should keep results of the drug test for documentation and publication.
He said he would also ask the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to request candidates to sign a covenant condemning illegal drugs to prove drug personalities are not behind their bids for village posts.
“For those who will reject or refuse to undergo a voluntary drug testing, well, their problem is that they would all be subject to suspicions for alleged involvement in illegal drugs,” he added.

The solon from Surigao del Norte said the barangay is considered the smallest administrative unit in the country, and the battle against drug abuse and trafficking should start from there – in the grassroots level,

Barbers said President Rodrigo Duterte has twice called for the postponement of the Barangay elections – on October 31, 2016, and October 23, 2017 – because rampant drug trade had infected 40 percent of villages.
“The President is also aware that some barangay officials are involved in illegal drug activities or are into substance abuse themselves,” he added.

The congressman said winners in the elections should come out clean because they would be receiving taxpayers’ money.  As such, they should always subject themselves to public scrutiny and prove they are not into illegal drugs, he said.

“The public should be wary and vigilant about village poll candidates who are into illegal drugs. The electorate should choose and scrutinize wisely by not voting for these drug personalities in their barangays,” he said.

Barbers said the Comelec, Philippine National Police Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde and local officials from the cities of Quezon, Baguio, and Cebu, among others, have expressed support to subject all village and SK candidates in their localities to a voluntary drug test to show support to the national government’s anti-drug campaign.

“I appreciate the help of the PNP chief, Comelec and local chief executives who fully support the national crusade against the drug menace by calling for a voluntary drug testing of all candidates for the May 14, 2018 Barangay and SK elections in their respective localities,” Barbers said. “Their moves are the very essence of leadership by example.” #