Comelec: SC ruled against mandatory drug test for election candidates

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 26) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Friday said the Supreme Court (SC) has already ruled against mandatory drug testing of election candidates, saying it is unconstitutional since it is not required under existing laws.

Speaking to CNN Philippines’ The Source, Comelec spokesperson Rex Laudiangco said mandatory drug testing was already made a requirement for candidates in the 2007 midterm polls.

“Unfortunately, we were brought to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court struck down our resolution,” he said.

According to the 1987 Constitution, the general requirements for candidates are that they should be a natural born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, and able to read and write. The age and residency in the country vary depending on the position.

Citing the 2008 Court decision, Laudiangco said that “aside from the requirements required under the Constitution, Comelec cannot provide additional requirements” since doing so would be violating the charter.

On Thursday, Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos encouraged candidates in the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections to undergo drug testing in line with the government’s program against the use of illegal substances.

While the Comelec welcomes voluntary testing, Laudiangco reiterated the poll body cannot require this from candidates.