26 journalists test negative for drugs

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol July 19,2016 - 06:40 PM
Members of the media submit themselves for drug testing conducted by PDEA last Monday at the PRO-7. (CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON)

Members of the media submit themselves for drug testing conducted by PDEA last Monday at the PRO-7. (CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON)

Twenty six of the twenty seven journalists (not 28 as previously reported) who volunteered to undergo the drug test were found negative of illegal drugs.

One specimen submitted by a videographer wasn’t tested by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) because it lacked the required amount of urine sample.  Three journalists declined.

After the successful conduct of the drug test last Monday, Elias Baquero, president of the Cebu Federation of Beat Journalists (CFBJ) challenged other journalists to also undergo the same examination to prove that members of the media are not into illegal drugs.

“Members of the media must act as role model in society because it is considered the fourth estate, the last bastion of those who failed to get justice from government,” he said in a message sent to Cebu Daily News.

“If ever a member of the media will refuse a drug test even if they have time to do so, it will create doubts on the minds of the public. So they must undergo voluntary drug test,” he added.

If a member of CFBJ will be found positive of illegal drugs, Baquero said it will be up to his or her media outlet to act on it. “But CFBJ will expel him or her from the group,” said Baquero, a veteran reporter of Sun.Star Cebu.

Thus far, CFBJ is the biggest legitimate media group in southern Philippines with about 200 members composed of reporters, photographers, and videographers from eleven beat organizations.

Arnold Bustamante, president of journalists covering the police and defense beat presented to PRO-7 the idea of having journalists undergo drug tests but the procedure must be voluntary among reporters, photographers, and videographers.

DEPP members knew about the plan but they were not aware of the schedule. They were only informed before the drug test shortly before the 8 a.m. flag rising ceremony attended by Dela Rosa last Monday.

Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, deputy director for operations of PRO-7, said it is praiseworthy for journalists to submit themselves to drug test to prove they one with the government in the campaign against illegal drugs.

“We’re very happy with the first batch of journalists who underwent drug test last Monday. It’s an honor. They showed the public that they are not into illegal drugs. I hope this serves as an eye opener to other members of the media to also do likewise,” he said in an interview.

Lawas said PNP Chief Dela Rosa was surprised and very happy with what he witnessed and was even talking about it when they sent him off at the airport.

“We could not oblige journalists to undergo drug test. But he (Dela Rosa) encouraged and challenged other media to do it,” he said.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu Federation of Beat Journalists, drug test, journalist, negative, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, police

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.