Drug test proposed for 2013 candidates

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    COURTESY CALL. Gov. Lilia “Nanay” G. Pineda officially meets new PDEA-III RD Lyndon Aspacio with Dir. Gen. Jose Guttierez. Also in photo are Prov. Dir. SSupt. Edgardo Tinio, Board Members Olga Frances David-Dizon and Raul Macalino, and Prov. Administrator Atty. Andres Pangilinan Jr.

    Photo courtesy of Jun Jaso, Pampanga PIO

    ANGELES CITY– Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. has urged drug tests as requirement for politicians who will file their certificates for the 2013 elections.

    This was how Ebdane, who had been public works secretary during the Arroyo administration, reacted to a report of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director Lyndon Aspacio on the worsening drug abuse cases in Central Luzon during the inter-agency meeting of Central Luzon’s Regional Peace and order Council (RPOC).

    Ebdane urged the RPOC to ask the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to make drug test a requirement for all politicians filing candidacies in next year’s polls.

    “We need to make sure that all our leaders are clear from illegal drugs,” Ebdane stated.

    Jun Gonzales, office-in-charge of the provincial prosecutor’s office said a similar proposal was made years ago but this was junked amid lack of legislation.

    “The move was thought to be unconstitutional because such requirement is not cited in the Constitution,” Gonzalez said.

    However, Ebdane said that if his proposal could not be adopted officially, candidates should at least be encouraged to voluntarily subject themselves to a drug test “to show the people their sincerity to fight illegal drugs in the country.”

    “A voluntary test would also tell us who are those who refused to be tested and enable us to ask why,” Ebdane noted.

    Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda expressed support for Ebdane’s proposal, saying it would be an effective way to curb the drug menace in the country.”

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