MANILA, Philippines – Three soldiers of the Standing Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (SJTF-NCR) failed a surprise drug test on Tuesday, a military spokesman said.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos said the 3 soldiers, whose identities were withheld, will undergo confirmatory tests supervised by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
If PDEA tests reveal that the 3 personnel are indeed using illegal drugs, Burgos said they will be subjected to investigation which may lead to their subsequent discharge from the service.
The surprise drug test was conducted by Task Force Jacob in Camp Aguinaldo at around 8 a.m.
Officials of the SJTF-NCR, the anti-coup unit in Metro Manila, attended a seminar on avoiding the use of illegal drugs before the surprise test.
SJTF-NCR Commander Col. Manuel Ramiro said a total of 202 officers took the urine test.
“I took the test, along with my co-officers, to set an example to our subordinates. There are no exemptions and no excuses in the drug testing. We do this in full support of the undertaking of the AFP of ensuring a drug-free organization,” said Ramiro.
Burgos said a total of 19 soldiers have tested positive for drugs since the Army began its campaign against illegal drugs within the force last year.
He added that 9 have been discharged from the service while the rest are still facing investigation.