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Tomas backs hair follicle drug test of brgy captains

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña backs Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Phillip Zafra’s ‘hair follicle’ drug test dare to suspected drug user barangay captains as a way to strengthen the city’s campaign against drugs.

In a press conference last Wednesday, Zafra, an ally of Team Rama, challenged his colleagues to undergo a ‘hair follicle’ drug test all at once, which Osmeña gladly welcomed.

Hair follicle drug test is an alternative to urine drug test which elicits a more accurate and credible result of substance abuse that covers an approximately 90-day period.

Cocaine, opiates, marijuana, methamphetamine, amphetamine, ketamine, benzodiazepine are among the major substances that hair follicle drug test can detect.

Osmeña, in an interview, said that the city is open to spend for Zafra’s proposal should it pushes through.

However, Osmeña wants it to be a selective drug test instead of making it mandatory to save time and money.

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“Let him [Zafra] point out a few, it cannot be just everybody,” he said.

According to Osmeña, the budget will not only be exclusive for Bando Osmeña – Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) members but will cover any barangay captain suspected to have used illegal drugs.

Zafra’s dare was brought out because of Osmeña’s persistent allegations against some of Team Rama members saying that they are drug coddlers and users.Ermita Chief Felicisimo ‘Imok’ Rupinta is among those who figured in a controversy for allegedly protecting several drug lords.

“He [Rupinta] was suspended. Just the fact that y__a under his watch became the biggest drug lord in the Central Visayas . . . you know Ermita is not that big, what did it show you? How come he doesn’t do anything about it? He should know and he knows,” Osmeña told reporters on Friday.

Meanwhile, Zafra pointed out that they will proceed with the posting of drug-free tarpaulins on houses in Ermita after the Commission on Human Rights 7 (CHR) allegedly ignored their request for a meeting.

It was only recently that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which only has over thirty agents in Region 7, to take over the fight against illegal drugs from the Philippine National Police (PNP). (FREEMAN)

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