Vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Sunday said that he is willing to undergo a drug test and challenged all candidates to do the same.
Marcos made the statement after various youth groups had asked presidential and vice presidential candidates to voluntarily submit themselves to a drug test to show they are really serious in fighting illegal drugs.
“I have always been open to it. I am willing to undergo a drug test to show my sincerity in the fight against illegal drugs,” he said.
“Everyone must take a drug test because that’s the only way we can show to the voters that we will indeed fight illegal drugs,” he added.
Groups such as the National Youth Coordinating Council on Drug Abuse Prevention (NYCCDAP) and the National Youth Affairs on Drug Abuse Prevention and Education (NYADAPE) led the call for drug tests.
“Our next leaders should be in a position to discuss drug use, and there can be no better way than to set an example for everyone,” Leo Archie Andes 3rd of NYADAPE said in a statement.
Statistics from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) showed that more than 8,600 barangays are affected by the drug menace. Metro Manila Manila topped the list with 92 percent of its barangays affected, followed by Southern Tagalog at 33 percent.
Marcos said that he will push for the revival of the death penalty for drug lords if he wins the vice presidential race.
“I am principally against death penalty but I would take exception on big time drug peddlers and drug lords because of the menace they pose on society, especially the youth, the future of our country,” he said.
The Ilocano senator said another major solution is to equip law enforcement agencies so they could fight drug syndicates head on.
“We have a serious drug problem because mainly of corruption and poor law enforcement and we need to weed our system of those involved in illegal drug trade especially in our law enforcement agencies and then those in the service should be well-equipped to go after drug pushers and their principals,” he said.