MANILA, Philippines – Soon, all of Manila City's elected barangay (village) officials will undergo mandatory drug tests.
The Manila city government will soon test barangay officials, from the barangay chairpersons down to councilors, for drug use, a statement from the office of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said Sunday, October 9.
"There will be no exemption," Estrada was quoted as saying.
According to Estrada, those who will test positive will be charged with criminal and administrative cases, and will be dismissed from service.
The mayor invokes the Administrative Code of 1987, which says government officials and employees proven to use drugs shall be subjected to disciplinary or administrative proceedings, with penalty of dismissal at first offense.
Estrada also said random drug tests for government officials is part of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
"It is a betrayal of public trust. People elected them. Do you think they are worthy of their positions if they’re drug addicts?," Estrada said. "We won’t be lenient to any barangay officials that are into drugs. They have no excuses."
This comes after incumbent Barangay 648 Chairman Faiz Macabato was killed in an anti-drug operation Friday, October 7. Macabato was killed after fighting with policemen who were supposed to arrest the chairman's brother, a suspected drug user.
Last August 18, Estrada, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, and the city's Sangguniang Panglunsod, all underwent drug tests, and all tested negative. – Rappler.com