Panelo said the suggestion to make mandatory the drug testing for Senate and House of Representatives candidates violates the Constitution as it adds another qualification outside of that enumerated by the Constitution.
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Palace bucks mandatory drug tests for candidates
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - October 20, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesman and chief legal adviser Salvador Panelo rejected yesterday the recommendation of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to subject candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives to surprise drug testing ahead of the midterm elections next year.

Panelo said the suggestion to make mandatory the drug testing for Senate and House of Representatives candidates violates the Constitution as it adds another qualification outside of that enumerated by the Constitution.

“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.

Panelo was asked to react to news reports that PDEA favors the surprise drug tests on election candidates.

PDEA director-general Aaron Aquino was quoted as saying that surprise drug tests should be conducted on politicians running in the elections.

“If it will be a surprise drug test that they won’t know is actually a drug test, I think it will serve the purpose,” Aquino said.

Asked how it could be done, Aquino said it could be similar to what they are doing in the agency where his fellow officers are called for a supposed meeting.

“We will have a conference. When they arrive, the conference room will be padlocked, nobody will go out,” the PDEA official said.

They are then required to submit urine samples, which will be examined for traces of illegal drugs.

The Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) had also urged aspirants in the 2019 midterm elections to submit to mandatory drug testing once they become elected as local officials.

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS DRUG TESTING PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY SALVADOR PANELO
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