MANILA -- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Thursday urged television networks to conduct surprise or mandatory drug testing on their actors and actresses to weed out drug users.
This as the agency continues to validate information on alleged drug links of 31 showbiz personalities included in their 'watch list'
“‘Yung Channel 2 (ABS-CBN), Channel 7 (GMA), Channel 5 (TV-5), o kung ano mang channel, may mga artista ‘yan (or whatever channel, they have artists). Dapat gumawa na sila ng initiative na ‘yung artista nila ipa-drug test nila (They should take the initiative to have their artists undergo drug tests). It should be a mandatory and surprise drug test,” PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said in a television interview.
Aquino said the conduct of drug testing among the celebrities is similar to that of being conducted in different government agencies, particularly the PDEA and Philippine National Police (PNP) which is part of their internal cleansing program.
The PDEA chief also added that they are monitoring 11 female and 10 male television and movie personalities for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs, noting that many of those on the list are drug users while some are pushers.
“Their ages range from, most of them are in the 20s or 30s. May mga (There are ones in their) 40s and 50s. The common drug is, it’s shabu and ecstasy and some are taking marijuana but about five or six are taking cocaine,” he said.
Aquino said their list of celebrities involved in illegal drugs does not include yet the information coming from the PNP, National Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies.
He said the number of celebrities involved in illegal drugs may still increase to over 100 if the list of all the law enforcement agencies will be combined.
Aquino said they will not hesitate to arrest TV personalities involved in illegal drugs.
"Time will come, we will just catch on you,” he noted.
At present, Aquino said PDEA is focused on revalidating information on politicians allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
He, however, said that once they are done with narco-politicians, they will then release the names of judges, prosecutors, celebrities and media personalities who have drug links upon completion of their validation process. (PNA)
Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler