Davao cop found positive in drug test goes AWOL

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 31 March) – The police officer found positive in a surprise drug test last week has not reported for work since last week, according to an official of the Davao City Police Office.

DCPO spokesperson Milgrace Driz said Monday the policeman whose identity is not revealed to the press pending a confirmatory testing has not yet shown up and was declared absent without leave effective March 26.

Driz said the officer has been relieved from the station and reassigned to the DCPO City Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit for the duration of the investigation, clarifying that the officer was not assigned as a desk officer.

So far, Driz reported that the official has not yet challenged the result.

“We are serious in our campaign against illegal drugs,” Driz said. “We are cleansing our ranks because we want to gain the trust and confidence of the people.”

The DCPO official said the mandatory drug tests for police precincts began last February 3.

Police administration has since conducted random drug tests at the police precincts of Marilog, Calinan, Baguio, Toril, Catalunan, Sta. Ana, Bunawan and Paquibato.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte last Sunday said he would prefer immediately suspending the officer instead of having the cop undergo a validation test.

“I do not want any policeman assigned here in my city nga drug addict,” Duterte said. “And my recommendation has always been dismissal.”

The mayor said a validation test for personnel found positive for drugs would make him more suspicious of the result. “You can really be as positive as you can ever be with one violation,” he said.

The drug testing was conducted on 54 personnel and 24 members of the Field Training Program of Bunawan Police Precinct last week.

City police director Vicente Danao Jr. said earlier that they have conducted the test based on information gathered from the public text hotline about policemen from Bunawan allegedly involved in drugs.

Driz said the intel from the text hotline has been helpful in weeding out bad cops from its different units.

So far, two policemen have been tested positive of drugs since February.

The first officer, who was assigned to the Mobile Patrol Group of the DCPO, tested positive during a surprise test conducted on Feb. 9.

Driz said the DCPO respected the mayor’s statement and opinion, but added that it was bound by guidelines from the national leadership of the Philippine National Police.

Driz made the comment a day after Duterte said at his weekly television show that he would prefer an immediate summary hearing for the official found positive for drugs after a surprise drug test last week.