The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said it is monitoring more than 430 barangay officials who are possibly linked to illegal drugs.
“Meron tayong minomonitor na mahigit 430 na barangay officials na maaaring nasasangkot sa ilegal na droga (We are monitoring over 430 barangay officials who are possibly involved in illegal drugs),” PNP public information office chief Police Brigadier General Redrico Maranan said at a televised public briefing.
Maranan clarified that the PNP has been monitoring such officials regularly and not just because of the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan election (BSKE) in October.
If there is enough evidence, Maranan said the police will pursue a case buildup against these barangay officials and launch law enforcement operations against them.
On Thursday, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos challenged the candidates in the 2023 BSKE to undergo drug tests.
Abalos said the candidates should undergo drug test to show that they are ready to serve the country considering that illegal drugs is “one of the country's biggest problems."
“Kung gusto ninyong tumakbo, manilbihan sa bayan, one of the biggest problems is drugs, siguro magpa-drug test kayo. Pakita ninyo na handa kayong maglingkod. I am calling on all candidates,” he said.
(If you want to serve the country, one of the biggest problems is drugs, perhaps you should undergo a drug test. Show us that you are ready to serve. I am calling on all candidates.)
Earlier, PNP chief Police General Benjamin Acorda Jr. said it was vital for the public to be vigilant to prevent those involved in illegal drugs from sneaking into the election. —VAL, GMA Integrated News