IMEE EXPOSES ANOMALOUS DRUG TESTING FOR DRIVERS

Quezon City, March 18, 2003 -- Ilocos Norte Rep. Imee Marcos yesterday warned that drug users might have escaped the dragnet of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) with the corrupt practices of its accredited drug testing centers.

Marcos said she received information that some drug testing centers issue "fake" or tampered results for a fee, allowing drug addicts to apply or renew their drivers' licenses without being detected.

She warned that such anomaly could put in danger the lvies of many who might fall victims to drug-crazed drivers.

Marcos said based on LTO documents obtained by her office, at least 5,000 cases of irregularities have been discovered with regard to the operation of drug testing centers which include, use of fake or tampered drug results; issuance of clearance to applicants without their personal appearance; use of fake forms for drug test; the hiring of fixers to facilitate the fake drug tests and the multiple use of a single drug test kit.

Marcos called for the House committee on dangerous drugs chaired by Rep. Antonio Cuenco (Cebu) to look into the matter.

Marcos the probe will also determine whether there is a need to adopt stricter policies to ensure the integrity of the drug testing system.

She expressed disappointment over the delay in the full implementation of RA 9165 or the new dangerous Drugs Act which transfers the drug testing function from the LTO to the Department of Health.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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