By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Samar Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento sought Saturday the mandatory drug testing for all school teachers, citing the increasing number of teachers and professors supposedly involved in illegal drugs.
He made the call after a school principal in his district was arrested by anti-narcotics operatives in a buy-bust operation.
“This is very, very alarming. Even our schools are not being spared by these drug peddlers. Even worse is the fact that some of our teachers and even school officials are involved in the drug trade. We must assure our parents that despite all these horror stories, our schools are still safe and our children are properly protected,” Sarmiento said in a statement.
“Public interest dictates that we should require a regular drug test for our school teachers and make sure that our schools are completely drug-free. We cannot win the war against illegal drugs if even our schools are already infiltrated by these drug syndicates,” he added.
Citing the Family Code, he said school administrators and teachers have the responsibility to ensure that their students are protected from all types of criminal elements, including drug pushers.
Under the Family Code, “the school, its administrators and teachers, or the individual, entity or institution engaged in child [rearing] shall have special parental authority and responsibility over the minor child while under their supervision, instruction or custody.”
Sarmiento expressed serious concern that schools are now being targeted by narcotics syndicates.
“There is an increasing trend of teachers being arrested for their involvement in illegal drugs. It looks like our schools are deliberately being targeted by these drug syndicates. The case in Calbayog City, which is part of my district, is worse because the suspect is a school principal,” he said.
The suspect was identified as Arnulfo Abellar, a school of the Department of Education-Danao 1 School in Tinambacan District in Calbayog City. He was arrested after he allegedly sold suspected shabu to an undercover anti-narcotics
Seized from Abellar are three sachets of shabu worth P68,000, a .357 revolver and five pieces of ammunition.
In Cebu City, Neler Tagpuno, 36-year old elementary school teacher was recently arrested for allegedly selling drugs. While, 49-year old public school teacher identified as Emerlito Addun was arrested in Solana, Cagayan for drug pushing as well, reports said.