Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III and Senator Panfilo M. Lacson today, Nov. 22 underwent an ‘’encompassing holistic drug test’’ at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to show that they are drug free as they prepare for the May 2022 national elections.
The Lacson/Sotto presidential and vice presidential tandem voluntarily went to PDEA after President Duterte revealed last week that a presidential candidate has used cocaine.
Sotto said ordinary drug tests only determine ‘’Shabu’’ or ‘’marijuana’ use.
What the PDEA did, according to Sotto, was a ‘’multi-drug one-step immunometric assay for the detection of drugs of abuse in urine.’'
At press time, the result of the tests on Lacson and Sotto are not still not available.
Presidential bet Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao, an athlete, had said it is better if a ‘’hair follicle’’ test is done ‘’to sure.’’
In a related development, the Senate resumed today deliberation on the budgets of government department agencies under the proposed 2022 P5 trillion national budget .
Not one senator was tested positive, Sotto said.
Also, ‘’all Senate employees present last Tuesday’’ were tested COVID-19 negative, he added..
Upon learning last Wednesday night that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was tested COVID-19 positive, the Senate leadership decided to close the Senate building for fumigation last Thursday and last Friday, and reset its budget hearings today.
Late last week, Lorenzana texted Sotto that he was COVID-19 ‘’false positive,’’ meaning he is negative.
Lorenzana went to the Senate last Tuesday to help Senator Ronald dela Rosa defend and clarify the proposed 2022 budget of the Department of National Defense (DND).