Drug, Psychological Tests for Bets Sought

Article excerpt

Candidates for local and national posts in the 2010 Wednesday sought an amendment of the Constitution to make passing mandatory drug and psychological tests a requirement for those seeking elective posts.Binalonan Mayor Ramon Guico, a member of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD senatorial slate, Quezon City Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista of the Liberal Party and members of the Performance Team in Quezon City said they are willing to cross partylines to push for the revival of the law that would disqualify candidates found using or having used illegal substances.On the other hand, lawyer Raul Lambino, another administration senatorial bet, said the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency should make public the list of candidates involved in illegal drug trafficking in the country.Concern about narco-politics was raised by the candidates following a report from the US State Department that there is a possibility that the outcome of the May 10 elections will be influenced by drug money.A medical doctor, Guico said the report should not be ignored, adding that narco-politics will indeed be a strong influence in Philippine elections unless addressed immediately by government.“I believe there is a need to revisit the constitutional provision about a candidates qualification and include passing mandatory drug tests a requirement,” said Guico.Bautista, chairman of the QC anti-drug abuse council, lamented that the law on mandatory drug tests has been struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.“There is no doubt the High Court was correct in ruling that making candidates undergo narcotics examination is a violation of the Constitution. But we don’t just sit and allow drug dependents to be elected, we have to pursue measures to correct this,” Bautista told a group of barangay officials in a forum Wednesday. …