Anthropology

Philippines police drug-testing residents of poor neighbourhoods

Police in the Philippines are performing door-to-door drug testing in [a poor neighbourhood home to the Philippines’ largest landfill site], and adding people’s names to a list if they test positive for drug use – while the death toll of the country’s drug war slaughter continues to surge.

Groups of police officers are going from house to house in the Manila neighbourhood of Payatas ordering residents to urinate into cups. The urine is then immediately tested for prior use of methamphetamine or cannabis. If the test reveals drug use during the past seven days, the individual’s name will be added to a list of people who use drugs, according to ABS-CBN News. Payatas is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Manila, and is home to the largest open landfill site in the Philippines – where many local residents scavenge for recyclable materials as their only option for income. The approach, which government officials have called a “massive drug clearing operation”, is legally dubious. Under the law, mandatory drug tests can only be imposed upon certain people – such as applicants for driving licenses and employees of public office. If the police ask a random person to urinate in a cup for drug testing, that person is not legally obliged to do so; however, the fear or pressure that person may experience may lead them to consent to the test. Father Michael Sandaga, a local parish priest in Payatas, described the operation as “tantamount to coercion because people are subjected to drug testing against their will”.

Original Article (Talking Drugs):
Philippines police drug-testing residents of poor neighbourhoods
Artwork Fair Use: CES~enwiki

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