Son of Boying Remulla was arrested for an offense relating to R.A. 9165 (Dangerous Drugs Act). News came around that Remulla refuses to be subjected to a drug test while PDEA said that it will be immaterial.
PDEA in this case would be standing on the wrong basis. This is not because there is no basis but the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the provisions of R.A. 9165 that pertains to the mandatory drug testing of arrested persons unless such test would come in random.
In the case of Social Justice Society vs Dangerous Drugs Board, the court held that:
xxx The operative concepts in the mandatory drug testing are “randomness” and “suspicionless.” In the case of persons charged with a crime before the prosecutor’s office, a mandatory drug testing can never be random or suspicionless. The ideas of randomness and being suspicionless are antithetical to their being made defendants in a criminal complaint. They are not randomly picked; neither are they beyond suspicion. When persons suspected of committing a crime are charged, they are singled out and are impleaded against their will. The persons thus charged, by the bare fact of being haled before the prosecutor’s office and peaceably submitting themselves to drug testing, if that be the case, do not necessarily consent to the procedure, let alone waive their right to privacy. To impose mandatory drug testing on the accused is a blatant attempt to harness a medical test as a tool for criminal prosecution, contrary to the stated objectives of RA 9165. Drug testing in this case would violate a persons’ right to privacy guaranteed under Sec. 2, Art. III of the Constitution. Worse still, the accused persons are veritably forced to incriminate themselves.
Thus, it was held by the court that:
WHEREFORE, the Court resolves to GRANT the petition in G.R. No. 161658 and declares Sec. 36(g) of RA 9165 and COMELEC Resolution No. 6486 as UNCONSTITUTIONAL; and to PARTIALLY GRANT the petition in G.R. Nos. 157870 and 158633 by declaring Sec. 36(c) and (d) of RA 9165 CONSTITUTIONAL, but declaring its Sec. 36(f) UNCONSTITUTIONAL. All concerned agencies are, accordingly, permanently enjoined from implementing Sec. 36(f) and (g) of RA 9165. No costs.
To summarize, the following drug tests are constitutional and unconstitutional under R.A. 9165:
(c) Students of secondary and tertiary schools. – Students of secondary and tertiary schools shall, pursuant to the related rules and regulations as contained in the school’s student handbook and with notice to the parents, undergo a random drug testing: Provided, That all drug testing expenses whether in public or private schools under this Section will be borne by the government;
(d) Officers and employees of public and private offices. – Officers and employees of public and private offices, whether domestic or overseas, shall be subjected to undergo a random drug test as contained in the company’s work rules and regulations, which shall be borne by the employer, for purposes of reducing the risk in the workplace. Any officer or employee found positive for use of dangerous drugs shall be dealt with administratively which shall be a ground for suspension or termination, subject to the provisions of Article 282 of the Labor Code and pertinent provisions of the Civil Service Law;
(f) All persons charged before the prosecutor’s office with a criminal offense having an imposable penalty of imprisonment of not less than six (6) years and one (1) day shall have to undergo a mandatory drug test; and
(g) All candidates for public office whether appointed or elected both in the national or local government shall undergo a mandatory drug test.