THE arrests of teachers due to illegal drugs, including one who was caught last Friday, have given a Capitol body more reason to push for random drug tests in schools.
Executive Director Joey Herrera of the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Commission (CPADAC) said he has received reports that at least six teachers in Cebu Province use or sell narcotics.
Herrera declined to name the town or school where these teachers work, so that the police can monitor them.
“It is possible that in the early part of next year, we will conduct drug tests on teachers,” Herrera told reporters.
A public school teacher in Badian will face trial for allegedly sniffing illegal drugs in Barangay Poblacion in Ginatilan last Friday morning.
Jefferson Carteciano Gornez, 35, of Basak Elementary School will face cases for possession of dangerous drugs and paraphernalia, violations of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
The cases will be elevated to court after he chose not to undergo a preliminary investigation during the inquest proceedings at the Office of the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor in Cebu City yesterday, said SPO2 Neil Mansueto, chief intelligence officer.
Gornez is also facing trial for child abuse cases for allegedly hurting schoolchildren last year.
Dr. Rhea Mar Angtud, Cebu Provincial Schools Division superintendent, told Sun.Star Cebu that while the Department of Education (DepEd) is willing to subject their teachers to drug tests, CPADAC should keep the results confidential.
Teachers who are found positive for illegal drug use must undergo counseling and treatment provided by the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB), she said.
She also asked Herrera to let one of DepEd’s personnel witness the surprise drug test.
Angtud also plans to investigate the case of Gornez, the teacher arrested in Ginatilan last Friday.
If found guilty, Gornez could lose his job, she added.
Before Gornez was caught past 10 a.m., a resident informed the police station that he was carrying a replica of a .9mm Beretta.
A team led by Mansueto went to the area and tracked down the teacher, who was allegedly sniffing something from a small pipe while sitting on a bamboo chair.
Mansueto’s team frisked Gornez and found three sachets of shabu on him.
The teacher was on leave last Friday. His wife is also a teacher in Ginatilan.
For its part, CPADAC has been working on a campaign to make sure that all government offices in the province are drug-free.
Herrera pointed out that testing is just one component of making a workplace drug-free. Having teachers undergo a seminar on the dangers and prevention of illegal drugs could be one activity.
Last May, Reynante Aliñabon, Santicon Elementary School teacher-in-charge, was arrested after a buy-bust operation in Barangay Poblacion in Badian.
Police found out that Aliñabon was allegedly using illegal drugs after they arrested Niño James “Jimboy” Pondoc, a suspected level three drug pusher, who was the subject of their operation.
Three other persons were also caught sniffing shabu at that time.
Herrera said he will check their list if the teacher caught in Ginatilan was on it. He confirmed that the teacher previously arrested in Badian was one of the teachers reported to CPADAC as either using or selling drugs.