CDO judge bats for drug test for all poll bets
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The judge of a local court designated to hear drug cases has insisted on the necessity of requiring drug testing for all aspirants of elective office even as the Supreme Court ruled against it in 2008.
Judge Arthur Abundiente of the Regional Trial Court Branch 25 here, said that by dropping the requirement, “we are at the risk of electing possibly a drug addict or somebody who is connected with the drug syndicate.”
Abundiente’s sala is one of the two special drug courts in the city. He is also an author of a book on the country’s war on drugs.
Mandatory drug testing is contained in Commission on Elections Resolution 6486 and Section 36 of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. But these were struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.
The issue on drug use among political figures resurfaced after Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, in one of his speeches last month, divulged that a presidential candidate is a cocaine user.
Abundiente said that the Supreme Court should have made a distinction on whether mandatory drug testing is a requirement or a qualification.
“That (was) a wrong decision because adding a required drug test result is not a qualification, it is only a requirement. You have to distinguish what is a qualification and what is a requirement,” he explained.
Abundiente witnessed the destruction of P14.15 million worth of crystal meth or shabu, marijuana and various expired medicines in a local crematorium on Friday, presided by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The drugs were already presented as evidence in numerous drug cases.
Jigger Montallana, PDEA-10 regional director, said the destruction of the illegal substances was to show that these drugs will not be “recycled” or resold.
“This is to dispel the public notion that drugs will circulate back to the streets. This is to assure our public that the drugs that were confiscated are properly destroyed as mandated by law,” Montallana added.
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