THE regional office of the Commission on Elections in Davao City (Comelec 11) is mulling on requiring all candidates in the barangay elections to undergo a drug test as they file their Certificates of Candidacy (COCs).
The drug test for the candidates in the barangay elections was one of the agenda discussed at the meeting between police commanders and Comelec officials on Tuesday, said Police Regional Office (PRO 11) spokesperson Chief Inspector Milgrace Driz.
The drug test may not be mandatory, Driz said in an interview at the sidelines of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police Press Corps on Wednesday at the Royal Mandaya Hotel.
However, Driz said Comelec 11 Director Remlane Tambuang will note in the CoC submitted if a candidate did not undergo a drug test and submit a report to the Commission. That is the initial plan and it is voluntary, she said.
According to Driz, Comelec wants the drug test for the candidates as a support to President Rodrigo Duterte policy of ridding the country of narco-politicians.
This is in light of reports that some Barangay Anti Drug Abuse Council (BADAC) in the region are not functioning.
In Davao Region, Driz said these are the BADACs of barangays Camanlangan, Tandawan, and Batinao, all of New Bataan municipality in Compostela Valley Province.
Whatever the plan of Comelec, Driz said it will be supported by the police.
Earlier, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged voters to choose only the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan officials who have the values of “Matino, Mahusay, and Maasahan” during the simultaneous holding of the elections on May 14.
DILG Assistant Regional Director Wilhelm Suyco said electing the best barangay officials with the core qualities will help push for a clean, honest and excellently-governed barangays.
“They should have the core values of matino, mahusay, maasahan,” said Suyco, adding that the officials should exhibit the traits of not corrupt, officials who will fight against corruption and illegal drugs.
Suyco said there are 3,775,533 voters in Davao Region who are expected to vote in the barangay and SK polls.
Out of the total number, 974,919 will be voting for the SK while 2,800,614 for the barangay. They will have to choose one chairman and seven members for each barangay and SK council.
There are 1,162 barangays in Davao Region comprising Davao City, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, and Compostela Valley Province.
Also on Tuesday, the Comelec, the police, and the military have laid down security arrangements for the barangay and SK elections.
The police and the military were also briefed on Comelec resolutions and the calendar of activities including rules on exempting AFP and PNP from the transfer/detail and use of armored car, water or aircraft during the campaign period and election day, the reconstitution of the regional joint security control center, the gun ban, conduct of checkpoints and liquor ban.
Driz said Comelec was also briefed on the security situation by the police chiefs and the military commanders operating within the region.
“For the part of the Army, they will be coordinating with the COMELEC and PNP for the deployment of their troops,” Driz said.
Driz said this is also the first time that the Coast Guard is tapped as part of the Regional Joint Security Control Committee Regional Joint Security Coordinating Council (JSCC) to oversee the safe, honest and peaceful elections.
“There will be another scheduled coordinating conferences on the provincial level this is just the key or signal that the election period will start on April 14,” she said. (RONDA Balita Online News)