• Maguindanao mayor OK to drug test

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    Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu said only one of the 36 mayors in the province pledged to submit himself to mandatory drug testing but added that he is hopeful of positive responses from the rest.

    On July 18, Mangudadatu issued an executive order to all local officials and village officials and their employees to undergo drug testing in line with the drive against the drug menace.

    As of Thursday, Mayor Zamzamin Ampatuan of Radjah Buayan town committed to undergo the drug testing.

    The provincial government already submitted for drug tests its 400 employees and 18 of them, including a jail guard, tested positive for illegal-drug use.

    The governor, who was being bashed in the social media labeling him and his brothers as among drug lords in the province, joined the mass testing last month but experts found no traces of drugs from the tests and retests by experts from the police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

    Mangudadatu said they already submitted the list of the employees who tested positive to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and they are waiting for the agency to evict the drug users from their respective posts.

    “Once the confirmatory result will be submitted to us, whatever the recommendation of the Civil Service Commission, that will be the final ruling of the province,” he added.

    The governor said those not covered by the CSC will be automatically dismissed from the service, citing the jail guard who was discharged from his duty after the test.

    More than 6,000 individuals in Maguindanao have submitted themselves to authorities, including members of rebel groups and mayors, who were named by President Rodrigo Duterte as narco politicians.

    MOH SAADUDDIN

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