By Jefferson Antiporda | The Manila Times
Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday called on authorities to strengthen its anti-drug campaign in all government agencies to weed out officials and employees who are using illegal drugs.
Marcos made the call over a report of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) that the number of public officials and employees arrested for alleged links to the illegal drug trade increased last year.
Based on the report submitted by the PDEA to the Senate, 191 government personnel were arrested for drug-related offenses, higher than the 180 people 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,” the senator pointed out.
He said Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 mandates the conduct of random drug tests on officers and employees of public and private offices.
Implementing rules and regulations of RA 9165 gives to the Civil Service Commission the
duty of ensuring implementation of random drug tests in government offices.
“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,” Marcos said.
He expressed support to a proposal allowing 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,” Marcos said.
The senator noted that in a series of surprise searches conducted at the New Bilibid Prisons–the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila)–authorities confiscated various contraband from inmates including high-tech gadgets such as cell phones, 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 said.