By Erik Espina
PART of the solution in the “war against drugs,” as spearheaded by no less than President Du30, is for mandatory drug testing to be cascaded to the level of the Barangay and LGU (local government unit). This means all newly elected SK (Sangguniang Kabataan) and Barangay officials must submit themselves for said testing. Compliance must be implemented to include LGU officials – chief executives of municipalities, cities, and provinces with their respective “sanggunians.”
To further emphasize the seriousness of the program, and the gravity of the problem, the DILG can issue administrative orders to all local governments reminding them that as public officials they are duty bound to set the proper example. This is one avenue they must immediately undertake so that they are able to clear or rule themselves out of suspicion. Let us not forget, Malacañang is aware, there were barangay officials who were elected/re-elected despite continued involvement in the illegal trade. This may be an expensive proposition, however, the times call for it, as the list seems to be increasing. Just a few days ago, a former undersecretary of the Dangerous Drugs Board confidentially informed me of a former senator who was into cocaine. I was flabbergasted. I know him personally. He comes from a family of pedigree, and lawyer at that. Such a story resurrects of tales during the previous “yellow” watch, where high officials were reported smoking marijuana or snorting the luxury of high grade cocaine. Begs the question, could there be members of Congress who are presently in this bad habit? Or have tried drugs in the past? Perhaps, if and when, a “sample” becomes a requisite for public condemnation, good intelligence, investigation, and a case build-up could set the tone for an arrest and charges to be filed versus such privileged officials. All that is required is one such event to unfold, to finally set the tone, there are no “sacred cows” in this battle against dependency and substance abuse. This must be unlimited to politicians, small-time pushers, big time drug lords, but includes the death of chemists in raids of shabu laboratories.