"Mandatory drug testing for Senate and House of Representatives candidates is violative of the Constitution as it adds another qualification outside of that enumerated by the Constitution," presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
STAR/Joven Cagande
Palace: Mandatory drug tests for 2019 bets unconstitutional
(Philstar.com) - October 19, 2018 - 3:45pm

MANILA, Philippines — Mandatory drug tests for candidates in the 2019 midterm elections would violate the 1987 Constitution, Malacañang said Friday.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency earlier suggested conducting surprise drug tests on election candidates to prevent them from preparing for the test.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said mandatory drug testing for Senate and House of Representatives aspirants would violate the Constitution.

Doing so would add another qualification not stated in the Constitution, the Malacañang spokesman said.

"The same principle applies to local candidates as it also adds to the qualifications imposed by law. Voluntary drug testing is a favorable process," Panelo said in the statement.

Under the Constitution, senatorial candidates should be a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, at least 35 years old on the day of the election, able to read and write, a registered voter and a resident of the Philippines for not less than two years immediately preceding the day of the election.

Qualifications for House of Representatives aspirants are the same as those seeking Senate posts except that they should be at least 25 years old, a registered voter in the district where they will be elected except for party-list representatives, and a resident of not less than one year preceding the day of the election.

The Dangerous Drug Board has urged aspirants in the 2019 midterm elections to submit to mandatory drug testing once elected, particularly local officials.

DDB Chairman Catalino Cuy said this would be pursuant to President Rodrigo Duterte's order to strengthen all anti-drug efforts.

“As civil servants, we must lead by example of living a healthy and drug-free lifestyle. We cannot expect the Filipino people to be drug-free if we ourselves are involved in these substances,” Cuy said in a statement. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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