ONLY 99,598 police officers and men have undergone drug tests since the start of the Duterte administration, meaning another 60,000 of the 160,000-strong force are yet to take a drug examination as ordered by Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa.
Newly-retired PNP Crime Lab director Chief Superintendent Emmanuel Aranas said that of the 99,598 policemen tested, 130 including some commissioned officers and policewomen were found positive for substance abuse during an initial screening and later confirmatory test of their urine samples.
Aranas has been replaced as PNP Crime Lab director by Chief Supt. Aurelo C. Trampe Jr., a lawyer-classmate from Philippine Military Academy ‘Sinagtala’ Class of 1986 of Gen. de la Rosa.
Lack of drug-testing kits and personnel have been blamed for the inability of the previous PNP Crime Lab leadership to finish the testing of the 160,000-strong police force within a month as ordered by the PNP leadership. The problem is particularly felt in the regions and the provinces where municipal police stations are scattered, many accessible only by water.
Journal Group sources said drug-testing kits being used by the Crime Lab are imported from the United States and officials won’t try other kits since they are convinced of the reliability of the U.S.-made equipment.
Gen. de la Rosa and all police generals tested negative for drugs last July 1, the first day of new PNP chief in office. Already tested are members of the National Capital Region Police Office and other police regional offices in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao except for those who are in far-flung areas.