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Lacson, Sotto test negative for cocaine, other drugs

/ 04:14 PM November 22, 2021
Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson and vice presidential running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III undergo a drug test at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) headquarters

Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson and vice presidential running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III undergo a drug test at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) headquarters. Photos from Sotto’s office.

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Senator Panfilo Lacson and his vice presidential running mate Senate President Vicente Sotto III both tested negative for illegal drugs on Monday after their voluntary drug tests.

The urine specimen collected from the two senators “do not contain any dangerous drugs” under Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, according to the test results released by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which Sotto shared with reporters.

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Based on the PDEA result, the screening examination on the specimen of Lacson and Sotto gave “negative results” for the presence of methamphetamine (shabu), MDMA (ecstasy), cocaine, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) metabolites.

The result came out around five hours after they took the test. The pair underwent a multi-drug test procedure, which was capable of detecting all kinds of illegal substances in a person’s system.

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‘Walking the talk’

“This is nothing new to me. When I ran for the Senate during the 2016 elections, I also did a voluntary drug test in Cebu,” Sotto said in a statement.

“I firmly believe that leaders of our country should be drug-free. They should lead by example and by conviction. If they cannot do this, then how will the people follow, believe and obey them?” he added.

“Illegal drugs is a serious issue with or without the election season,” he further said.

Lacson, for his part, said their decision to undergo a drug test was their “way of walking the talk.”

“Kasi maraming challenges, wala nang maraming salita, pumunta na lang kami rito,” Lacson told reporters in a brief interview at the PDEA lobby after he and Sotto took the test.

(Because there were a lot of challenges, no more words necessary, we just came here today.)

According to Lacson, it was Sotto who initiated to take the drug test on Monday.,

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“Kaninang umaga, tinawagan ko si Senator Lacson, sabi ko pasok tayo sa Senate ngayon, bakit hindi tayo magpa-drug test na?” Sotto, meanwhile, said.

(I called up Senator Lacson this morning and told him, since we’re going to the Senate today, why don’t we take the drug test now?)

Lacson and Sotto got themselves tested for drugs a few days after President Rodrigo Duterte accused a presidential aspirant of using cocaine.

While he did not give the person’s name, Duterte hinted that the aspirant comes from a well-known and rich clan, whose family name means “strong” and is known for its patriarch.

Aside from Lacson, other presidential bets have likewise said they are willing to undergo drug testing, with one candidate even saying that all presidential aspirants should undergo drug tests.

Sotto’s fellow vice presidential aspirants also earlier said they won’t mind being tested for drug use.

EDV

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TAGS: #2022candidates, #VotePH2022, drug test, PDEA, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senator Panfilo Lacson
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