The Philippine Drug Agency (PDEA) on Friday discouraged the public from casting their votes for drug-tainted candidates seeking election in the coming May 2022 polls.
According to PDEA Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva, they have issued warning in light of the recent arrest of a mayoralty candidate and four others during a checkpoint operation in Mountain Province.
The operation conducted last Wednesday by joint elements of the PDEA Regional Office-Cordillera Administrative Region led by Director Gil Cesario Castro together with the local police in Oowayen, Barangay Poblacion, Sadanga, led to the arrest of Sonny Kalaw, a former police officer and a mayoralty candidate of Sabangan, Mountain Province and their four cohorts.
The operatives seized 19 bricks of dried marijuana leaves, with an estimated street value of ₱2.2 million and one black Toyota HiAce Grandia.
“Dismiss candidates who are involved in illegal drug activities. They do not deserve your votes. We urge the voting public to choose wisely our next leaders.”
All aspiring candidates and prospective bets who act in collusion with drug syndicates might continue to lord it over the polls. Drug money may seep into the electoral process, funding the campaign of certain politicians seeking positions in the government in exchange for protection and self-preservation.
“Your vote is precious and please treat it that way. If we want to attain drug-free communities, we should opt for leaders who genuinely defend the nation from illegal drugs,” he said.