Board members ‘willing’ for random drug test-A A +A
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
THE members of the Misamis Oriental Provincial Board (PB) said they are willing to submit themselves for a random drug test.
Vice Governor Norris C. Babiera said Monday that in a meeting he spearheaded after the arrest of board member Geodeguil Ursal, all PB members announced willingness to undergo random drug test.
“Nagpatawag dayon ko og meeting when learned about Ursal’s allegation and willing ang akong mga kauban for a random drug test,” Babiera told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.
Ursal was arrested by members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in a buy-bust operation last January 9 in Zone 2 Barangay Agusan, Cagayan de Oro.
He was later slapped with three charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Also arrested were Ernesto Fernandez, Ursal’s driver, and Glenn Antigua.
Ursal admitted using illegal drugs before and after their regular session every Monday.
During investigation, Ursal disclosed that another PB member is also into the illegal drugs activity. He, however, refused to give names.
Babiera said he is thankful that Ursal did not give the name of the PB member.
He said, however, that all members of the PB, including him, are all suspects.
For his part, PB member Emmanuel Mugot said he is willing to undergo random drug test in fairness to other SP members whose name are at stake because of Ursal’s claim.
“Katungod man ni Kagawad Ursal kung unsa ang iyang gisulti basta ako andam ko sa random drug test,” Mugot said.
However, PB member Jabi Bernaldez expressed apprehension over the random drug test.
“The dignity and integrity of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Misamis Oriental will be in trouble. This is a big issue. It would show that all provincial board members are drug addicts because they undergo random drug testing?” Bernaldez said.
Though he said he is willing to undergo drug testing, he claimed this should be done during the filing of certificates of candidacy not only for PB members but for all political candidates.
“Ursal’s statement is a very delicate accusation and it takes a long process to prove, considering that the SP would shoulder the burden of proof,” Bernaldez said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 23, 2013.