Palace nixes drug test for candidates

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 19 2018 04:39 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Friday rejected the proposal of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to subject candidates in the 2019 midterm elections to a drug test.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said drug tests should be voluntary on the part of the candidates as subjecting them to “surprise” or mandatory drug tests would violate the Constitution.

“Mandatory drug testing for Senate and House of Representatives candidates is violative of the Constitution as it adds another qualification outside of that enumerated by the Constitution,” Panelo said in a statement.

“The same principle applies to local candidates as it also adds to the qualifications imposed by law. Voluntary drug testing is a favorable process.”

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino earlier proposed a “surprise” drug test on candidates. The Dangerous Drugs Board, meanwhile, sought a mandatory drug test on officials once they get elected.