Lacson, Sotto show negative drug tests after Duterte says presidential bet taking cocaine

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 22 2021 02:35 PM | Updated as of Nov 22 2021 04:59 PM

The Lacson-Sotto tandem went to PDEA for a voluntary drug test after President Rodrigo Duterte said a presidential aspirant is a known user of cocaine. Photo courtesy of Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
The Lacson-Sotto tandem went to PDEA for a voluntary drug test after President Rodrigo Duterte said a presidential aspirant is a known user of cocaine. Photo courtesy of Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

MANILA (UPDATE) - Reporma standard bearer Sen. Panfilo Lacson and his runningmate Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III tested negative for illegal drugs after they underwent a voluntary test on Monday, days after President Rodrigo Duterte claimed a presidential aspirant was into cocaine.

A chemistry report from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) showed that urine samples collected from Lacson and Sotto “do not contain any dangerous drugs.”

"What we underwent was not the ordinary testing. PDEA uses a MULTI DRUG testing kit. It can check all types of illegal drugs, encompassing holistic drug test," Sotto told reporters.

"Ordinary testing only checks marijuana and shabu," said the Senate President, who once led the Dangerous Drugs Board.

The move comes as several sectors urged politicians running in the 2022 national elections to undergo drug testing to prove that they are not the ones being alluded to by the President.

Last week, Duterte alleged that a presidential contender, who hails from an affluent family, is a known user of cocaine. Duterte did not mention names.

When asked why they underwent a voluntary drug test, Lacson said: "Dapat ang description - highest lider ng bansa, hindi high [sa droga] ang lider ng bansa."

(The description should be highest leader of the country, not the leader of the country is high on drugs.) 

Both Lacson and Sotto are anti-drug advocates, and once pushed to impose capital punishment against drug lords.

Earlier this month, the pair said they are no longer in favor of death penalty against drug lords and heinous crime convicts, saying the government could just build a special facility where these criminals would be isolated from the rest of the country.

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