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Surprise drug test for barangay officials during assembly

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita October 20,2016 - 09:39 PM

ABC DRUG TEST/OCT. 20, 2016: Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) Cebu City chapter president, Tisa barangay Captain Philip Zafra (right) and vice president Apas barangay Captain Ramil Ayuman lead the surprice drug testing of all ABC members during their 3rd Quarterly Assembly in White Gold House.(CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Philip Zafra, Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) Cebu City chapter president, and Apas barangay chairman Ramil Ayuman lead the surprise drug testing of all barangay officials. (CDN Photo/Junjie Mendoza)

WHEN 60 barangay chairpersons of Cebu City went to the New White Gold House Restaurant yesterday morning, they expected to attend a general assembly.

A few hours later, the officials were called out of the room in groups to submit urine samples for a random drug test by the Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (Cosap).

“This was really a surprise. The barangay captains didn’t know. We’re happy that the conduct of the drug test was smooth and we saw their cooperation. We are just not complete since there are others who had prior engagements,” said Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president Philip Zafra.

Only 60 out of the city’s 80 barangay captains were present during the drug testing which came during the ABC’s third quarter general assembly.

Aside from the barangay chairpersons, 10 ABC staff members, and Senior Supt. Joel Doria, Cebu City police chief, also underwent drug testing.

As of yesterday afternoon, one out of the 60 barangay chairpersons tested positive of shabu use.

Cosap chief Dr. Alice Utlang said the results will still be subjected to confirmatory tests.

Utlang said the drug testing was “special” compared to the usual tests they do for barangay and City Hall employees.

Aside from the usual marijuana and shabu, yesterday’s test can also yield results for those who may be using other illegal drugs like ecstasy, cocaine and opium.

“We will be asking the ABC for the list of the names of those barangay captains who are not present during the drug testing and we will also subject them to the test,” Utlang said.

Zafra challenged those who were not present yesterday to immediately bring themselves to Cosap and undergo drug testing.

Utlang said the names of those who tested positive will be referred to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which will impose sanctions on them.

Cosap will just inform the ABC of the number of barangay chairpersons who test positive but will not include their names, Utlang said.

Utlang said officials of Barangays Hipodromo, Day-as and T. Padilla have yet to undergo random drug testing.

She said only 15 out of the city’s 80 barangays have a fully functioning Barangay Anti-Illegal Drugs Abuse Council (BADAC).

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TAGS: Association of Barangay Councils, barangay captains, Barangay officials, Cebu City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention, drug testing, surprise drug test

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