Estrada, Padilla thumb down calls for mandatory drug tests for actors
MANILA, Philippines — Actor-politicians Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Robin Padilla on Tuesday appeared cold to suggestions requiring celebrities to undergo mandatory drug testing following the arrest over the weekend of actor Dominic Roco for drug possession.
Roco is the son of character actor Bembol Roco. He was arrested along with four others during a buy-bust operation in Quezon City last Saturday.
Estrada, who came from the Ejercito-Estrada clan of actors who are also into politics, said in a statement that “drug tests as a pre-requisite to employment should not be limited to celebrities and actors.”
“And such proposed drug testing before any work engagements should be encompassing and should not prejudice certain sectors in our society especially if we want to ensure a drug-free workplace,” he further said. “It should not be discriminatory.”
In case of government workers, Estrada pointed out that there is already an existing law that required them to undergo a random drug testing.
“Pairalin natin ang makatwiran na polisiya patungkol sa drug testing para sa pampubliko at pribadong sektor,” he further said.
Meanwhile, Padilla, who himself was an actor before his recent shift to politics, warned that mandatory drug testing is tantamount to violation of human rights.
“I am one in seeking to protect our fellow Filipinos from the ill effects of illegal drugs. This includes my fellow workers in the showbiz industry,” he said in a statement Monday.
“However, we cannot oblige anyone to undergo a drug test, as it is tantamount to violating their human rights. That said, I am for them taking a voluntary drug test — as this is for their safety and wellbeing,” Padilla said.
The expenses for such drug tests, he said, should be shouldered by employers.
Padilla also said that it would be better if government officials and employees would take the drug tests “as they have the responsibility to provide our people with a good example. EDV