DAVAO CITY -- Not a single member of the city's police and military forces was found positive of using illegal drugs based on the results of the mandatory test, said Mayor Sara Duterte Monday.
Officers and members of the Task Force Davao (TFD) and Davao City Police Office (DCPO) underwent a mandatory drug testing on July 26 upon Duterte’s orders.
The mayor said results from San Roque Retrovaille Center, the drug test laboratory working with the City Government, confirmed that law enforcers in the city are not using illegal drugs.
Out of more or less 500 task force personnel, 320 had undergone the test and a total of 1,211 policemen went through the same test.
"Among those who underwent the drug test, three were recommended to undergo confirmatory tests and all were from the DCPO. The confirmatory test was done immediately. But the results showed walang (no one) nag-positive. The specimen used during the primary test was also the one used during the confirmatory test," Duterte said.
"So, we are happy with the results and I will be giving the results to (DCPO) Director Senior Supt. Rene Aspera and TFD commander Col. Oscar Lactao," she added.
The mayor said the drug test is her way of checking the city's investment on the city's law enforcers and the city's peace and order, which is also in compliance to a national law.
Both the TFD and DCPO received operational support such as patrol cars and other equipment from the city. Lactao also said 204 of the TFD's personnel are city-paid while Davao policemen are paid by the National Government.
"I always tell my troops na huwag ma-involve sa use of drugs, because it destroys our children and our society.'Yung iba I can be humanitarian. I could just give you a punishment but once you get yourself involved in drugs you are not only discharged but you'd also be subjected to criminal complaints filed against you," Lactao added.
Aspera on the other hand stressed that the results only proved that the city's law enforcers are committed to their duty.
"This is a good indication that your police here in Davao City and the Task Force Davao are not using drugs. If there is someone using drugs, it affects the work of the police and also the image of the organization," he said.
Duterte said the campaign against illegal drugs is a priority program of the city and she assured that law enforcers are not part of this "to provide them the unquestioned command in the performance of their duties and enforcement of the law."
"The interest of the city cannot be disassociated from the performance of these personnel because of the regular funding provided to these units. The results of this operation shall form part of the baseline database of the city for research and development programs," she added.
Duterte said corresponding penalties of dismissal with criminal liabilities will be meted if a member is found positive of using illegal drugs.
She also said the mandatory drug test will be held again next year.
"It would be random and would be held again next year, but (the schedule) will be unannounced," Duterte said.
Next to undergo mandatory drug testing are regular and contractual employees of the City Government, including those who are applying for a job at the City Hall. (Jade Zaldivar of Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)