Let all candidates take drug test

Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. today said he is willing to undergo drug test to show his sincerity to fight illegal drugs.

Marcos made the statement after various youth groups had asked presidential and vice presidential candidates in the upcoming May elections to voluntarily submit themselves to a drug test to show they are really serious in fighting illegal drugs.

“I have always been always open to it. I am willing to undergo a drug test to show my sincerity in the fight against illegal drugs,” he said.

He also challenged his fellow candidates to take a drug test to set a strong message to the electorate that they will really fulfill their promise to fight illegal drugs in the country.

“Everyone must take a drug test because that’s the only way we can show to the voters that we will indeed fight illegal drugs,” he pointed out.

Earlier, groups such as the National Youth Coordinating Council on Drug Abuse Prevention (NYCCDAP) and National Youth Affairs on Drug Abuse Prevention and Education (NYADAPE) said that taking the drug test will send a strong message to the youth that the candidates do really take their vow to fight illegal drugs seriously.

“Our next leaders should be in a position to discuss drug use, and there can be no better way than to set an example for everyone,” NYADAPE President Leo Archie Andes III said in a statement.

Reports made by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency showed that more than 8,600 barangays in the country are affected by the drug menace with Metro Manila Manila having the highest rate of being drug-affected with 92 percent of its barangays affected, followed by Southern Tagalog at 33 percent.

Marcos added that if elected vice president, he will push for the revival of the death penalty for drug lords. “I am principally against death penalty but I would take exception on big time drug peddlers and drug lords because of the menace they havoc on society, especially the youth, the future of our country,” he said.

The senator also said law enforcement agencies must be well-equipped to target not just small time drug peddlers but zero in on big-time drug pushers and their leaders to make the war on illegal drug trade more effective.

“We have a serious drug problem because mainly of corruption and poor law enforcement and we need to weed our system out of those involved in illegal drug trade especially in our law enforcement agencies and then those in the service should be well-equipped to go after drug pushers and their principals,” he said.

But more importantly, he pointed out, the support of the family and community should be strengthened as it is crucial in the fight versus illegal drugs. “The fight against illegal drugs is not only the work of the police or law enforcement agencies, the family and community also play a crucial role. Everyone should work together to give our children the proper guidance to enable them to fight the lure of illegal drugs,” he stressed.

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