The Election Commission (Comelec) on Friday, November 19, 2021, said having a history of drug addiction cannot be used to disqualify candidates in the May 2022 polls and future elections.
In a brief statement, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said having a history of drug use is not grounds for disqualifying a candidate.
âSubstance abuse is not among the disqualifications provided for by law,â Jimenez said.
He specified that no less than the Supreme Court (CS) had already ruled on the question when Comelec tried to include it among the reasons.
“Comelec tried to require candidates to submit a negative drug test several elections ago. This decision was disapproved of by the Supreme Court,” Jimenez said.
In 2004, Comelec en Banc published a resolution making it compulsory for all applicants to undergo a compulsory drug test.
The electoral body said at the time that no person elected to public office could take up their post until they had undergone a mandatory drug test.
However, in 2008, the SC declared the Comelec resolution unconstitutional.
The SC then declared that Comelec did not have the power to impose qualifications on candidates in addition to what the Constitution provides.
Comelec’s latest statement follows President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that a presidential candidate in the 2022 election was a cocaine user. (HDT / SunStar Philippines)