PNP urges TV networks, actors guilds to require drug tests for celebrities
MANILA, Philippines — Local television networks and actors’ guilds are encouraged to subject their artists to mandatory drug tests, said the Philippine National Police (PNP).
PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. on Monday welcomed and echoed the recommendation of Surigao del Norte 2nd District Representative Robert Barbers to require actors to undergo drug tests before they are hired.
This pitch came after actor Dominic Roco and four other drug suspects were arrested last Saturday during a buy-bust operation in Quezon City.
“Sila iyong ina-idolize ng mga kabataan natin, mga kapwa Pilipino, so they should be drug-free. Kapag role model ka, iyong [record] mo dapat is impeccable. Impeccable dapat. Ibig sabihin, malinis ka,” Azurin said at a press conference at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
(They are idolized by the youth and our fellow countrymen, so they should be drug-free. When you’re a role model, your record should be impeccable. Meaning it should be clean.)
He urged artists to take the initiative and get themselves tested to show that the vast majority of them are exemplary members of the Filipino community.
In response to a question about how to ensure that the call for drug testing of artists is taken seriously, Azurin suggested making it a requirement for employment.
“Kung ikaw iyong employer, pwede mong ilagay na, ‘Para ikaw ay i-hire ko, mag-submit ka ng document na ikaw ay nagpa-test [at] negative ka sa drug test.’ Pwede iyon. Pwede isama iyon. At kung ikaw naman iyong employer, siyempre, mas gusto mo naman na merong clean hand o kasama ka doon sa naga-advocate ng drug-free Philippines,” he further explained.
(If you’re the employer, you can say, ‘For us to hire you, you need to submit a document to prove that you tested negative for a drug test.’ That’s allowed. That can be part of the requirements. And if you’re the employer, you’d want to have a clean hand, or you’d want to be part of those advocating for a drug-free Philippines.)
The country’s top cop later said: “We encourage mga giant network, even iyong actors guilds na sila nang magkusa para nang sa ganoon ay mapakita nila na tumutulong sila sa ating kampanya laban sa illegal na droga.”
(We encourage the giant networks, even the actors’ guilds, to take the initiative in showing that they are helping in the campaign against illegal drugs.)
Azurin then pushed other offices and agencies to heed Barbers’ call and have their employees undergo drug testing.
“I also read in one of the news, even si dating chief PNP Debold Sinas, he subjected iyong kanyang mga empleyado, iyong security sa Okada. Lahat po siguro ng mga ahensya or offices, if they can subject iyong kanilang mga employee to a drug test, napakaganda po kasi that is also one of the approach na pwede nating magawa in order to reduce the supply, as well as reduce the demand,” he said.
(I also read in one of the news reports that even former PNP chief Debold Sinas subjected his employees, the security forces in Okada, to drug testing. If all agencies or offices subject their employees to drug tests, this will do us good as it is also one of the approaches we can take to reduce the supply and demand for illegal drugs.)
In 2019, then Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Aaron Aquino urged local television networks to conduct mandatory and surprise drug tests on its artists after claiming that 31 celebrities were on their drug watch list.
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