MANILA—Instead of mandatory drug tests for candidates, a senatorial aspirant said it would be better if they were filtered through a "corruption test".
For Alex Lacson of the Kapatiran Party, it is more important for candidates to prove that they are not corrupt instead of going through a drug test.
"Payag din ako, pero sa totoo lang walang kuwentang batas 'yan kasi walang mangyayari diyan. Para sa akin po, tingnan ninyo na lang sa mata at doon ninyo makikita 'yung tunay na kaluluwa ng kandidato, ng tao," Lacson said in Tuesday's edition of "Sino SENyo?" on Teleradyo.
(I agree, but to be honest it's a useless law. For me you just have to look into the eyes of a candidate and that's how you'll see the truth.)
"Siguro ang mas kailangan natin . . . Mayroon bang corruption test? Kasi ang totoo lang, ang daming mga corrupt, ang daming nakasuhan na ng plunder, tumatakbo pa rin, at 'yun 'yung kailangan ng bansa natin. Kailangan 'yung salain natin, sino ba 'yung mga corrupt, sino ba 'yung hindi."
(Maybe what we need . . . Do we have a corruption test? Because in reality, a lot of corrupt politicians who have been charged with plunder are still running for office. And that's what we need, a corruption test. We need to filter who's corrupt and who's not.)
Meanwhile, former senator Jinggoy Estrada, still on trial for plunder charges connected to pork barrel, agrees there is a need for a mandatory drug test for candidates.
"Payag ako na magkaroon ng mandatory drug test ang lahat ng kumakandidato sa ating bansa. Pati konsehal, hanggang sa presidente. Kailangan magkaroon ng mandatory drug test dahil you have to be physically and mentality fit when serving our constituents, serving our country," Estrada said.
(I agree that we should have mandatory drug test for all candidates. Including councilors to the president. We need to have mandatory drug test because you have to be physically and mentality fit when serving our constituents, serving our country.)
"Dahil pagka gumagamit ka ng droga, alam mo, sabi nga ni Pangulong Duterte, nakakasunog ng utak 'yan. 'Pag gumagamit ka ng droga, wala ka na sa focus. Kung anu-ano na naiisip mo. High na high ka."
(When you use drugs, just like what President Duterte said, it fries your brain. When you use drugs, you lose focus. You think about different things. You get high.)
The other senatorial hopefuls — Elmer Labog, Jopet Sison and Greco Belgica — shared the same sentiments about mandatory drug tests.
"Tama po 'yan, from top to bottom, dapat ay mag-undergo ng drug test para hindi nagmumura sa publiko, para malinaw ang sinasabi sa taong bayan," Labog said.
(That's right, from top to bottom, everyone should undergo a drug test so they wouldn't curse in public, so they speak clearly to the people.)
The issue of illegal drugs has been in the center of President Rodrigo Duterte's presidency.
Last week, Duterte alleged a presidential contender, who hails from an affluent family, was known user of cocaine. Duterte did not mention names.
Following these allegations, several presidential bets, including Senator Panfilo Lacson and former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., publicized their drug test results.
Senator Christopher "Bong" Go and another presidential aspirant, labor leader Leody De Guzman, said they were willing to take drug tests.