Zubiri wants drug testing for Bukidnon employees

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/1 Feb) – Bukidnon Vice Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. volunteered to submit himself for drug testing and called on all officials of the provincial government of Bukidnon to do the same in the wake of the public outcry on the report that some members of the staff of Malaybalay Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri were caught on video using shabu.

Vice Gov. Zubiri told the Bukidnon Sangguniang Panlalawigan the provincial government’s job order and casual employees should be compelled to undergo drug testing before renewal.

Mayor Zubiri, meanwhile, has ordered drug testing for the city government’s 1,300 job order employees this week following his confirmation that eight of his staff were caught on camera using shabu.

Vice Gov. Zubiri, his uncle, said the provincial government should submit its employees to drug testing, too, following reports two of those in the video were actually employees of the Capitol.

But he said to evade legal complications, the regular employees will not be compelled. They will just be invited for voluntary drug testing, he added. The vice governor said that the date of the drug test will be left for surprise.

He said, however, that those who will refuse to undergo drug testing will have to be marked.

Vice Gov. Zubiri said the random drug testing might not work in actually deterring illegal drug use.

Randy Pulmano, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Bukidnon Team Leader, said that drug testing for employees shouldn’t be announced. But he admitted that they should be informed that the local government will be conducting it.

Pulmano spoke at the SP’s regular session Wednesday to shed light on PDEA’s anti drugs campaign.

He reported that close to P200-million worth of illegal drugs were confiscated and eradicated in Bukidnon in 2001 –P183.4 million for marijuana in three operations, and P16.4 for shabu during 15 operations.

PDEA also reported the conduct of 21 anti-drug awareness seminars and symposia to curb the demand for illegal drugs in the province. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)