Bong Go, Leody De Guzman say willing to take drug test

Wena Cos and Josiah Antonio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 22 2021 08:18 PM

Sen. Christopher
Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go and labor leader Leody De Guzman.King Rodriguez, Presidential Photo/Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go and labor leader Leody De Guzman on Monday said they are willing to take a drug test, after President Rodrigo Duterte claimed last week that one of their fellow 2022 presidential aspirants is into cocaine.

"Ako naman po ay willing magpa-drug test any time of the day, kung kakailanganin. Though hindi mandatory. Pero, but just to prove sa mga Pilipino kung sino ang fit na mamuno sa ating bansa ay willing po ako magpa-drug test any time of the day. Kahit saan po, willing ako magpa-drug test," said Go, Duterte's former longtime aide.

(I am willing to undergo a drug test any time of the day, anywhere, if necessary to prove to the Filipino people who are truly fit to lead the country.)

Go, whose presidential bid is backed by Duterte, issued the statement during a visit at the Malasakit Center in Dr. Jorge Royeca Hospital in General Santos City.

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If the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will make it mandatory, De Guzman said he is willing to undergo a drug test.

He reminded the public though that such a measure might violate the Constitution and human rights.

Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, another presidential aspirant, and his running mate, Sen. Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, on Monday underwent a voluntary drug test, which yielded negative results for both.

De Guzman said he will not fall for the "gimmick" of the Lacson-Sotto tandem.

"Hindi kami mahuhulog sa klase ng gimik na ginagawa ng tambalang Lacson-Sotto. Pero tulad ng sabi ko rin dati, kung gawing mandatory ng Comelec ang drug test, susunod ako bilang kandidato," De Guzman said.

(We won’t fall for the Lacson-Sotto tandem gimmick. But as I said before, if Comelec makes drug test mandatory, I will follow as a candidate.)

"Ngunit, nais ko silang paalalahanan na maaari itong paglabag sa konstitusyon na magbubukas sa marami pang paglabag sa mga karapatang pantao," he added.

(But, I want to remind them that it could be a violation of the Constitution that would open up many more human rights violations.)

The Philippine National Police has taken action on Duterte's revelation, tasking its anti-narcotics units to start a probe.

"As a candidate, mahirap na manira tayo ng kapwa natin kandidato. Ang ibig ko sabihin, sa issue na yan, ang pinag-uusapan natin from the very start of his administration, kabuuan ng war on drugs. Tao na po ang humusga, umepekto ba sa bayan ang kanyang war on drugs? Para sa akin, Oo po," Go said when asked about the alleged cocaine-user presidential aspirant.

("As a candidate, it's hard for me to say something bad about other candidates. What I mean is, with regard to this issue, what we have been talking about from the very start of his administration is the entirety of the war on drugs. So, let's ask the people whether or not it is truly effective. To me, it is.")

Go said he will continue and intensify further the campaign against illegal drugs and criminality to ensure a better future for the next generation, while also committing to pursue development in Region 12. 

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor's office began an investigation on thousands of killings under the administration's war on drugs, which it said is a possible crime against humanity for murder. 

The investigation was suspended by the ICC, however, as part of the tribunal's due process, upon the request of the Philippine government which reportedly said that the country is conducting its own probe.

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De Guzman, meanwhile, visited fishermen and authorities of Barangay Bayog, Los Baños, Laguna on Sunday to talk about environmental issues that may affect the livelihood of the community.

He said that fighting for the environment is vital for fisherfolk communities to sustain their needs.

“Kaya’t may malaking kaugnayan ang pagkawasak ng kalikasan o ng kapaligiran kagaya ng pagkakalbo ng kagubatan na nagdudulot ng erosion ng lupa sa kabundukan at pagtambak nito sa lawa sa panahon ng malalakas na pag-ulan,” he told ABS-CBN News. 

(There is really a big impact when the environment is destroyed, such as when forests are denuded as this causes soil erosion in the mountains and siltation of rivers downstream during heavy rains.)

Aside from Go, De Guzman, and Lacson, the other 2022 presidential aspirants include Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, and former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr.

The Comelec is expected to release the final list of the May 9, 2022 candidates in the coming weeks after removing those it finds as nuisance.