MANILA - Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers on Sunday proposed that actors, actresses and other celebrities undergo mandatory drug testing before they are engaged for their professional services.
Barbers, who chairs the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, issued the statement a day after actor Dominic Roco and his four companions were arrested by Quezon City police operatives in a buy-bust operation.
“Actors, actresses and other movie celebrities should all be drug-free because they are public figures that are being idolized by the public, particularly the Filipino youth. They would be setting bad examples if they would be involved in the use of drugs, or worse selling drugs,” he said.
“Alam ko na halos lahat ng ating mga artista ay drug-free o malinis sa usapin ng illegal na droga. Pero meron din na naliligaw ng landas, na gumagamit o minsan nagtutulak pa ng illegal na droga,” added.
Roco and four other persons were nabbed in the operation conducted at a townhouse in Brgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City early Saturday morning.
Police said the actor and two of the other suspects were allegedly caught taking illegal drugs, while the remaining two bought drugs from one them.
According to chief for investigation P/Lt. Anthony Daquel, homeowners in the area have complained to police regarding activities in one of the houses there.
He said one of the suspects, alias Pogi, owns the house where they were nabbed. He is also allegedly a drug dealer.
"Napapansin nila na kung sinu-sino yung pumapasok dito, hindi naman taga rito. Then may masangsang palagi na amoy 'pag lumalabas 'tong mga 'to. Mga magbabarkada yan eh. Dito na nagpupuntahan. Minsan, bibili lang din, aalis," said Daquel.
He said suspects tried to flee during the buy-bust operation.
"Nagtakbuhan sila. May pumanik sa taas. Yung dalawa dito, yung isa, 'di na nakatakbo kasi malaki ang katawan eh," Daquel said.
Authorities recovered 15 grams of suspected shabu with an estimated value of P100,000, and 10 grams of suspected kush worth P14,000.
The suspects, who will face charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, refused to issue any statement, as of Saturday.
“Kaya hinihiling at hinihikayat ko ang hanay ng ating movie industry na tumulong sa kampanya laban sa droga sa pamamagitan ng pag-police ng kanilang ranks at i-subject ang kanilang mga talents sa drug test bago bigyan ng pelikula,” said Barbers.
- with report from Larize Lee, ABS-CBN News
FROM THE ARCHIVE