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Freewill tests won’t save doping bets

The camp of presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who fits the description given by Duterte, said its candidate did not feel alluded to by the President

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PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos. (FB/ Senator Win Gatchalian)

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday welcomed moves by some candidates in the 2022 elections to undergo voluntary drug tests but said these will not prevent investigations if they are found with drug offenses.

“We will document the results, of course. It’s good that they are serving as good examples to the public,” PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said in a statement issued by Camp Crame’s public information office.

He added, however, that disclosing the results of their tests in public would not halt probes “in case there is valuable information that will link a candidate to the illegal drug trade or drug use.”

Last Saturday, Carlos said President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement about a presidential aspirant who allegedly uses cocaine has prompted an initial fact-finding effort by the PNP.

Duterte said the male candidate he identified as a drug user is a prominent member of a wealthy clan.

“If relevant information reaches us,” Carlos said, “we will definitely conduct an investigation. As of this time, we are trying to get additional information on the matter.”

The camp of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. — who fits the description given by Duterte — said it did not feel alluded to by the President.

Marcos also submitted to a drug test but its negative result was challenged by several camps.

Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’ chief of staff and spokesperson, said critics questioning the legitimacy of the documents Marcos submitted to law enforcement agencies should better address their concern where the Palace hopeful was tested.

“The result of Bongbong Marcos drug tests will stand on its own and if anyone who has any question as to the authenticity, methodology, or process done, they should address it to the institutions where the examination was conducted,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

The late dictator’s son underwent cocaine drug testing at St. Luke’s Medical Center — Global City in Taguig City on 22 November at around 12 noon.

He tested negative for the illegal substance and submitted the result to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the office of the chief of the PNP, and the National Bureau of Investigation on 23 November through Rodriguez.

Another presidential aspirant, Senator Panfilo Lacson and his VP partner Senate President Vicente Sotto III had their negative tests obtained from the PDEA.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, also both running for the highest position in the land, have already expressed willingness to undergo drug tests, with the latter even sending a letter to PDEA director general Wilkins Villanueva.

Go has always been supportive of President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign.

Boxing icon turned presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao’s camp on Tuesday released negative results of the anti-doping tests he took last July and September, before and after his farewell bout with Cuban pugilist Yordenis Ugas.

Vice-presidential aspirant Sara Duterte-Carpio also said she tested negative for drugs on Wednesday.

with MICHELLE GUILLANG, PAT SANTOS AND JOMELLE GARNER

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