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Truck drivers, porters under watch for drug use

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno ordered yesterday the Philippine National Police (PNP) to strictly monitor cargo truck drivers and porters following reports that some of them are using illegal drugs to keep them awake in their long trips.

Sueno also directed concerned local government units (LGU) and their police forces to monitor the activities inside roadside eateries which are long used as drug dens or fronts for drug transactions.

The DILG chief said they have confirmed intelligence reports about the rampant use of alcohol and illegal drugs by some truckers who ply the country’s major thoroughfares to transport their goods.

“This bad habit of truck drivers of taking illegal drugs to enable them to drive long distances is very, very dangerous because these drugs wear off their driving ability, which may lead to road accidents,” Sueno said.

Sueno said he got information that some truck drivers reportedly buy marijuana and shabu from small-time drug pushers in roadside eateries where they usually stop over to take their meals.

“The local police and barangay tanods should keep an active watch on the possible illegal drugs transactions in carinderias along the highways whose common patrons are truckers,” he added.

Sueno said drivers who are applying for a license to drive trucks should be subjected to regular drug tests to minimize the incidence of road accidents.

“It is very challenging to drive long hours especially at night. This is why we have to make sure that truck drivers are of sound mind and body before they start the long haul,” Sueno said. (Chito A. Chavez)