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Albayalde urges drug test for barangay polls candidates

Director Oscar Albayalde, incoming chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), wants voters to demand a voluntary drug test from all the candidates for the barangay elections next month.

Both the decision of the candidates to yield to drug test challenge and its result should serve as one of the criteria for voting the candidates from barangay chairman down to councilors, according to Albayalde.

Currently the head of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Albayalde also confirmed that they are validating the names of some incumbent barangay officials who are included in the list of those engaged in illegal drugs transactions.

“If I were a candidate for barangay elections, I would volunteer for a drug test if I am not hiding anything,” said Albayalde.

He added that it is the electorate who should demand more from their candidates on the matter pertaining to anti-illegal drugs since it would be the barangay officials who would take care of their safety and security in the end.

As such, he said, there is even no need to pass a law that makes drug test mandatory if the voters themselves would include it in their decisions as to who they would vote for.

It was recalled that the police earlier confirmed that thousands of barangay officials are on the narco-list of President Duterte.

In fact, some of them have already been arrested during various police operations across the country since July 2016.

The barangay elections, which include the Sangguniang Kabataan, is scheduled on May 14 this year, despite several attempts before to postpone it.

Meantime, cops all around the country should brace for a possible nationwide surprise inspection that is expected to be strictly implemented by the new leadership of the PNP.

“Yes we will do that (nationwide surprise inspection) if we really can,” Albayalde said.

“Although what I will do, as I won’t be able to do it personally now, I will put the responsibility to the commanders on the ground,” he added.

Albayalde made headlines in the past months after he conducted surprise inspections to Metro Manila police precincts even during the wee hours of the night.

It led to the sacking of several cops who were caught either sleeping, drinking or not wearing proper uniform while on duty.

Such efforts also led to the creation of “red teams” or spot up inspection teams at the national level of the PNP to emulate what Albayalde has done in the metro police. (Aaron Recuenco & Martin Sadongdong)