Jail wardens also covered by DILG one-strike policy on illegal drugs
by T. Villavert
Iloilo City (17 February) -- Jail wardens and fire station chiefs, are also covered by the one-strike policy on illegal drugs.
This was disclosed by Secretary Ronaldo Puno of the Department of the Interior and Local Government as he pointed out that the Napolcom, which he chairs, will set up teams to carry out the random drug tests on members of the PNP, while DILG Undersecretary for Public Safety Marius Corpus will form groups that will conduct the tests on uniformed personnel of the BFP and BJMP.
The DILG press report disclosed that Secretary Puno warned jail wardens and fire station chiefs, anew that they face immediate relief should they fail to act immediately on reports of the presence or use of illegal drugs in the jails or fire stations under their watch.
"We are carrying out these random drug tests not only to weed out the bad eggs from the ranks of the PNP, BJMP and BFP but also to reassure the public that drug use is going down under the stepped-up campaign of the Arroyo administration against this scourge, and the only way to prove these is to conduct the tests and begin these from among the ranks of those who enforce the law," Puno said.
Puno had announced that a one-strike policy will be imposed on police chiefs who fail to act on adverse reports about the presence or widespread use of narcotics and other illegal substances in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
He explained the one-strike policy will be applied if the chiefs of police fail to lead anti-illegal drugs operations in their respective areas of jurisdiction or ignore adverse reports about the presence of drug dens or laboratories or the widespread use of illegal drugs in their areas.
The DILG press report further disclosed that under Circular No. 2009-02, Secretary Puno also ordered the BJMP to regularly conduct random drug tests on its officers and personnel assigned in various district, city and municipal jails.
The DILG chief said any inmate found in possession of narcotics and other illegal substances and caught in flagrante delicto or in the act of violating any provision of Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, will be criminally charged and made to undergo a mandatory drug test.
Puno stressed that uniformed personnel of the PNP, BJMP and BFP found to be drug users would be dismissed outright from the service.Moreover, the refusal to undergo drug tests will be construed as insubordination on the part of any member of the PNP, BJMP or BFP, the DILG press report disclosed. (PIA 6) [top]