Leila de Lima pushes drug testing of bets for national posts

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines —  Not only candidates in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) this May should undergo drug testing but also those running for national posts in future elections, detained Sen. Leila de Lima said yesterday.

De Lima took issue with incoming Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director Oscar Albayalde’s proposal for candidates in the barangay and SK elections this May to undergo drug tests to show they are not involved in illegal drugs.

“Without casting any aspersion on his fitness and integrity, I’m afraid that Albayalde is starting on the wrong foot as he starts his stint as PNP chief,” she said in a statement.

“By requiring barangay and SK candidates to undergo drug testing, shouldn’t he think that candidates for national office should also be required to undergo drug testing, including candidates for president?” she said.

She said if drug tests were required back in the 2016 national elections, “maybe we would have been spared this President (Duterte).”

De Lima said like Duterte’s drug war, Albayalde’s proposal was anti-poor, violates equal protection, and smacks of class legislation.

The senator said Albayalde’s proposal targets lowly barangay and SK hopefuls, and spares the rich and privileged candidates for higher elective office.

 “Albayalde shouldn’t be selective in his new plans on how to wage the drug war. If he proposes drug tests, start with the President. And if Duterte fails the drug test, Albayalde should recommend his removal from office,” De Lima said.



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