By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs is counting on the House leadership to consider adopting a policy that would subject all the 292 House members to mandatory drug testing amid the Supreme Court ruling declaring it as illegal.
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said it is about time for the Lower Chamber to adopt such policy after some lawmakers were supposedly included in President Duterte’s narco-list.
“Kung ito (mandatory drug test) ay magiging isang polisiya ng leadership ng House lalong mas mabuti na kaming lahat ay magpasailalim sa isang drug test,” he said in a radio interview.
He recalled that before the opening of the 17th Congress in July 2016, he voluntarily underwent drug test to show to his constituents that he is serious in his fight against illegal drugs.
Barbers said all elected officials should undergo drug testing.
“Sa aking palagay, sama mo na dyan mga congressmen, mga senador, mga governor, mayor. Lahat ng elected officials, sa aking paniwala ay kailangang ipasailalim sa drug test no at ipakita o i-announce sa publiko ang resulta ng drug test na ito,” he said.
In 2008, the High Court declared as illegal Section 36 (g) of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 which requires candidates for national and local elective posts and those facing criminal charges punishable by more than six years imprisonment to undergo drug testing.