Erap happy over results not one member of city council found positive for drug use

The Daily Tribune| Written by: Pat C. Santos| September 10, 2016

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada yesterday expressed elation that none of the members of the city council tested positive for illegal drug use.

I am very happy with the results of the random drug testing and I can say now there is no drug user in all of city elected officials,” Estrada said after receiving the results of the drug tests that were conducted last August 18.

Rank-and-file employees of the city hall, including the department heads, are next in line as part of leveling up on the crusade, he added.

“The city hall employees and department heads will follow. Those who will be found positive will automatically be dismissed from the service,” Estrada warned.

Estrada, along with the 36-member Sangguniang Panglunsod, including Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, subjected himself to a surprise drug test at the city hall on August 18 which was administered by One Health Medical Laboratory Inc. headed by medical technologist Milagros Dolor.

It was the first time in recent years that a city mayor voluntarily submitted himself to a drug test which is also the first ever to be conducted at the Manila City Hall.

Estrada pointed out he ordered the random drug test to set an example to the two million Manileños and to show that he is dedicated to eliminate drugs in the capital city.

Estrada’s crusade against drugs has begun since he was elected vice president in 1992 and appointed as head of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission.

His two-pronged offensive against drugs is composed of relentless law enforcement operations and early prevention through the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program he brought to the country in 1993 and implemented in Manila since 2013.

Originally from the US, DARE is an education program that teaches schoolchildren about the dangers of drug addiction and how to avoid its influence. It taps active duty police officers as instructors who go to classrooms teaching one-hour, once-a-week DARE lessons to Grades 5 and 6 students.

Meanwhile, the 20-year-old MARE foundation, a non-government organization headed by former Sen. Dra. Luisa Estrada, wife of Mayor Estrada, has a new head in the person of Jackie Estrada.

During Wednesday formal rites at the San Andres Sport Center, Loi handed the MARE flag to her eldest daughter Jackie which symbolizes its commitment to serve the hundreds of thousands of poor and less fortunate individuals through medical, scholarship, rehabilitation, livelihood and feeding program in primary level students for at least 20 years.

The turn-over ceremony was witnessed by Mayor Estrada which coincided with the birthday of her daughter Jackie during the scheduled event.