Press Release
November 9, 2018

Sotto, five others pass drug tests

Taking the lead in upholding government's war against illegal drugs, six senators yesterday released the results of their tests recently conducted at the Senate.

Leading the first batch to undergo the procedure, President Vicente Sotto III and five more senators tested negative for illegal substance.

More than 300 employees were also subjected to the random mandatory drug testing last July 30 as part of the Senate's commitment to a drug-free environment and workplace.

Aside from the Senate President, those who underwent drug tests were Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senators Gregorio Honasan, Loren Legarda, Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino and Antonio Trillanes IV.

Sotto clarified that conducting a drug test is not part of a witch hunt but an awareness program just like what they did in the Senate.

He said enforcement, prosecution, prevention and rehabilitation are the four major concerns in the battle against illegal drugs and the absence of any of these four "will definitely make you unsuccessful in any fight against drugs."

"Part of prevention is drug testing," he added. "It's part of the awareness and prevention program." During the flag ceremony at the Senate several months ago, Sotto announced the conduct of a surprise random drug test for Senate employees.

Zubiri said "I feel very strongly on the implementation of the law, especially on drug testing" as the principal author of the Dangerous Drugs Act when he was still a congressman.

"Government should take the lead and implement this policy (of drug testing) with all its employees... especially those handling sensitive positions dealing with security issues, elected officials and high appointed posts," Zubiri said.

"We should set an example to the country that we mean business in this fight against drugs," he added.

"Government leaders should set a good example. We all know that illegal drugs only do harm for our people and our nation by undergoing this voluntary drug testing, I show my support for the campaign against the use of illegal drugs," Legarda said.

Honasan, for his part, said the country's leaders should "lead by action, deeds, and living example. "We cannot give what we do not have... the Senate leadership has is and will continue to lead by example," he said.

This was echoed by Aquino, saying: "We wish for leaders that are role models for our children, and Filipinos that can lead by example." He said candidates who wish to become government leaders should also undergo drug testing.

Trillanes, on the other hand, said: "Duterte and his family should also live by example. Thus I am challenging them to do the same."

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