Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. today called for intensified anti-drug campaign in all government agencies including regular random drug testing for state workers.
Marcos aired the call after the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency reported to the Senate an increase in the number of public officials and employees arrested last year for alleged links to the illegal drug trade, or a total of 191 government personnel compared to 180 arrested in 2014.
“Unless the government can attend to its own backyard first by cleansing the ranks of public officers and employees of those involved in illegal drugs we cannot launch a credible nationwide campaign against the drug menace,” said Marcos.
Marcos noted that Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 mandates the conduct of random drug tests for officers and employees of public and private offices.
The implementing rules and regulation of RA 9165 gives to the Civil Service Commission the duty of ensuring the implementation of random drug test in government offices.
Marcos admitted that random drug tests alone won’t be enough to cleanse the bureaucracy of people involved in drugs.
“But if there is consistent implementation of random drug tests in all government offices it would at least serve as deterrent against drug use among public servants,” said Marcos.
Meanwhile, Marcos also backed proposals to allow anti-narcotic enforcers to conduct wiretapping operations against drug syndicates, saying this would buttress the government’s efforts against illegal drugs.
“Crooks are getting high-tech and we must provide our law enforcement agencies the means to deal with this situation,” he said.
He noted that in a series of surprise searches prison authorities conducted at the New Bilibid Prison authorities confiscated various contrabands from inmates including high-tech gadgets such as cellphones, tablets and computers with Internet connections.
“This gives bases to suspicion that arrested drug lords manage to go on with their illegal business inside their cells. We must not allow this to happen,” Marcos stressed.
Marcos had been calling for a shift in the priority of the anti-narcotic campaign, saying the target should be big-time drug syndicates instead of small-time pushers and drug dens.
At the same time he said the government’s anti-drug campaign should also involve the entire community, including the parents, schools, church, barangays and other institutions, particularly in the conduct of values education to steer the youth away from the lure of illegal drug.