For Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, chair of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, drug testing should be mandator for showbiz personalities before working on movies, television shows, and other related undertakings.
Barbers made the pitch in a statement a day after the arrest of actor Dominic Roco and four other suspects in a drug buy-bust operation in Quezon City on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Roco, son of veteran actor Bembol Roco, and his cohorts were caught with 15 grams of shabu, 10 grams of marijuana, a weighing scale, and the buy-bust money.
Barbers said that actors, actresses and other movie celebrities must be tested for illegal drug use to prove a point to the public.
“They are public figures that are being idolized by the public, particularly the Filipino youth. They would be setting bad examples if they would be involved in the use of drugs, or worse selling drugs,” he stressed.
The Mindanao lawmaker cited the same reason why the actors and actresses must be required by their movie production companies, directors, and talent agents to undergo a mandatory drug test.
“Alam ko na halos lahat ng ating mga artista ay drug-free o malinis sa usapin ng illegal na droga. Pero meron din na naliligaw ng landas, na gumagamit o minsan nagtutulak pa ng illegal na droga (I know that almost of our artists are drug-free or clean from illegal drugs. But there are some who lost their way for using and sometimes peddling illegal drugs),” he said.
Barbers encouraged those in the movie industry to help in the ongoing campaign against illegal drugs by policing their ranks.
During the previous Duterte administration’s anti-drug war, at least eight celebrities were arrested for alleged involvement in illegal drugs since 2016.
Among them were actor Mark Anthony Fernandez, starlet Krista Miller, former sexy actress Sabrina M, and radio disk jockey Karen Bordador, who were all arrested by the police in 2016.
Included in the list were former child star CJ Ramos, Fliptop rapper Zaito, and actor Julio Diaz.