EDITORIAL| Intensified screening

IF THE  ARREST of a public school teacher in Digos City last Saturday indicated something, it was that even institutions that are instrumental in molding the mind of the youth are infested with this very dreaded disease creeping in the society.

Of course, the story is not new as there were similar cases in the past also involving teachers, the very people trusted to help children become better citizens.

Because the story was not unique, it is, therefore, sad that despite the intensified campaign of the government to run after those involved in illegal drug trade, it has not made a huge dent especially in schools, institutions that should have been protected from the menace.

Schools are very important mainly because they are the second home to children who seek knowledge so that by the time they are old enough to earn their keep, they become responsible citizens of their communities.

But what is turning out though is that even the very people tasked to teach them the very fundamentals of becoming better citizens – and provided with the highest of trust – are the very ones whose moral fibers are destroyed. The number of these people, if compared with the entire population, may be small but the impact of these few people may become the catalyst of the destruction that, God forbid, arresting it would be next to impossible.

The educational institutions have become more vulnerable to this threat mainly because of the loose system in hiring personnel, particularly teachers. What should have been done – and must be done – is to ensure that educators are individuals who can be truly trusted. There must be thorough screening processes that will not only rely on the results of written examinations, but also on medical ones. These processes must also be done regularly to ensure that no one is spared.

But teachers must not be singled out in these processes as others who want to work in government, including those who run for elective posts, must undergo these schemes. After all, the problem does not only beset the education sector, but all other sectors in government especially because politicians wield huge power and influence.

FOLLOWING the arrest of an alleged drug-pushing female public school teacher, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) XI said they are still closely monitoring at least 10 more government officials who are into illegal drug activity in the region.

PDEA director Adzhar Albani said they are now focusing back on the high value targets especially government officials.

“The last four days puro high value target na nahuhuli (In the last four days, we arrested high value target),” Albani said.

The latest arrested suspect was Digos City National High School (DCNHS) teacher Kristine Tabasa Deluao, said to be the Top 2 in the drug watch list in the region, who was arrested in a buy-bust in Digos City, Davao del Sur.

Albani said they are no longer concentrating in Davao City, as they are going to the provinces to stop the drug menace.

“What we do now is we go to the provinces together with the other law enforcement agencies and gather information,” Albani said.

Albani admitted that they are monitoring more than a thousand drug personalities in the region.

If there is a government official in the list, Albani said they are prioritizing them since they are high valued targets.

He said that Deluao, a MAPEH (Music, Arts, Physical Education, and Health) teacher who has been with DCNHS for 14 years, was a target by all the intelligence communities since she was listed in the drug watch.

The PDEA teamed up with its Davao del Sur Provincial Drug Enforcement Office and the Digos City Police Station in arresting Deluao, 43, resident of Barangay San Jose, Digos City.

Deluao was arrested in the act of selling a sachet of shabu worth P1,000 to an undercover agent who acted as poseur buyer at 5:10 p.m. Saturday along Cabrillos Street in Barangay Zone 2.

Posted in Opinion