June 14, 2024

Authorities apprehended three vegetable truck drivers who tested positive for illegal drugs use during a random drug test conducted at the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center recently.

The composite teams from the La Trinidad Municipal Police Station, Land Transportation Office, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and Highway Patrol Group conducted the random drug test on Dec. 7 to drivers transacting at the BAPTC.  

La Trinidad MPS Chief, Maj. Jun Tabigo-on said the drivers are all from Benguet but refrained from identifying them, as investigation is ongoing.

The conduct of random testing was in compliance to Republic Act 10586 or the “Act Penalizing Persons Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Dangerous Drugs, and Other Similar Substances”.

“We are not singling out anyone. Whether they are vegetable truck drivers, haulers, or biyahero of goods they will undergo testing. We aim to have disciplined drivers in our streets,” Tabigo-on said.

The random testing could prevent road crashes caused by drunk driving or illegal drug use.

Tabigo-on said the operation would continue to serve as a lesson to drivers who are still driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

“Let us drive according to road safety and LTO regulations so that we will not hurt anyone,” he said. 

Earlier testimonies of drug surrenderees to LTMPS investigators revealed that the most commonly used illegal drug is among drivers is shabu to keep them awake especially truck drivers.

But truck drivers and businessmen are instead recommended to maintain an alternate driver to prevent drivers from being over fatigued leading to dependence on illegal drugs to keep them awake.

Meanwhile, Tabigo-on reported he has pulled out office-based personnel to augment traffic forces and to maintain police visibility in all places of convergence ahead of Yuletide holidays.

He said they have also spread out their personnel including from the intelligence division to go against lawless elements that are expected to strike during the holidays. – Ofelia C. Empian