BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan proposed that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should already craft the guidelines mandating all candidates for the May 14, 2018 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections to undergo the mandatory drug test prior to the acceptance of their certificates of candidacy (COC).
The local chief executive said that he was able to bring the matter to Interior and Local government Secretary Eduardo Anyo during the meeting of the Luzon cluster of the National Peace and Order Council (NPOC) in Quezon City Tuesday for the considering of concerned agencies and the poll body.
“We support the growing clamor for candidates of the May 14, 2018 barangay and SK elections to undergo the required drug test before the acceptance of their COCs to make sure that those who will be elected by the people will not be involved in the use of illegal drugs,” Domogan stressed.
He said that it is best for the Department of the Interior and the Local Government (DILG) and the Comelec to issue the appropriate guidelines on how to undertake the mandatory drug test for candidate of the upcoming barangay and SK elections to guarantee that no barangay and SK officials involved in illegal drugs will be elected into office.
Earlier, the supposed October 2016 barangay and SK elections was rescheduled twice because of the alleged involvement of some 40 percent of barangay officials nationwide to illegal drugs wherein President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his fear that once the election will push through that time, there will be a good number of barangay officials who will be controlled by the people involved in illegal drugs that will make the country a narco state.
According to him, the results of the drug tests of the candidates should be made public so that the electorate will be aware of the kind of barangay officials they are supposed to elect who will serve them for the next three years.
In the city, Domogan said that there are only a few barangay officials who had been linked to illegal drugs based on the first list of drug personalities that were provided to him by the Office of the President wherein there were two barangay kagawads who were included in the said list as the ones involved in illegal drugs.
It can be recalled that under the first batch of drug personalities in the Cordillera which were provided concerned law enforcement agencies, all the 79 identified drug personalities were accounted for.
Domogan said that the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) has yet to be provided by the Office of the President an updated list of drug personalities in the different parts of the region so that the appropriate measures could be undertaken to neutralize their continuous involvement in the illegal drug trade which is one of the major thrusts of the present administration to spare the youth from being involved in the illegal drug trade.
He urged the city’s electorate to vote for the people who have no records on their involvement in the trade and use of illegal drugs so that the city will remain one of the areas where there are no barangay officials linked to illegal drugs.
By Dexter A. See