20 policemen fail drug test

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THEY’RE COMING OUT A barangay official gets the fingerprints of a drug suspect who surrendered in Barangay Quirino in Quezon City. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

THEY’RE COMING OUT A barangay official gets the fingerprints of a drug suspect who surrendered in Barangay Quirino in Quezon City. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

AT least 20 police officers across the country have tested positive in confirmatory drug tests even as the Philippine National Police (PNP) aims to complete the drug testing of all the 180,000 uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the police force within six months.

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Chief Supt. Emmanuel Aranas, the director of the PNP Crime Laboratory, said Mindanao has the highest number of police officers who tested positive in the drug tests with nine, followed by the Visayas with six and Luzon, five.

“As of 10 a.m. yesterday [Tuesday], the [urine]samples of 16 other policemen are being subjected to confirmatory tests,” Aranas told reporters in a chance interview in Camp Crame, the headquarters of the PNP.

He discounted the possibility that some maintenance medicines may have triggered the positive results.

“The drug tests are accurate. Specific substances are being identified during the confirmatory tests,” Aranas said, adding that all 20 police officers tested positive for shabu.

The 20 policemen, along with the 16 others being subjected to confirmatory tests, were among the 22,770 PNP personnel who had been subjected to random and surprise drug tests across the country.

Meanwhile, the National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) on Wednesday said 8,808 illegal drug suspects surrendered to the authorities, while 362, including two Chinese nationals, have been arrested in Metro Manila.

NCRPO Director Chief Supt. Oscar Abayalde, said policemen also seized 298.301 kilograms of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride), assorted firearms, a hand grenade and three bladed weapons from July 1 to 12.

The police official said the NCRPO will continue to implement “Oplan Tokhang.”

“NCRPO will lead the way in making Metro Manila the safest place to live, work and do business. Remember, Metro Manila will be the showcase of the change that the President promised to the Filipino people and NCRPO will be instrumental in translating that promise to reality,” Albayalde said.

Also in Quezon City, some 300 residents who claimed to be drug pushers or drug users trooped to a police station and promised to end their involvement in illegal drugs.

Supt. Wilson de los Santos, chief of Police Station 9 of the Quezon City Police District, was elated by the huge number of residents who surrendered to the police, saying it is proof that there is no need to resort to killing drug dealers as long as they surrender.

This brings to almost 3,000 the total number of drug pushers and drug users who surrendered to the police since July 1.

De los Santos is hoping that more drug pushers and users turn themselves in to the police.

WITH NELSON S. BADILLA

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