Quezon City council to undergo drug rehab

The younger brother of Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista has taken a leave from the city council as he submits himself to drug rehabilitation. Hero Bautista, a councilor of the city's fourth district, admitted being a drug addict and announced his decision to undergo rehabilitation. "Ang drugs ay, sa Tagalog droga. Ang test ay, pagsubok. Sinubukan ko ang droga," Bautista said during a session of the city council.

"My brother, as mayor, will never be a drug protector. I am the protector of my brother," he added. "I am volunteering my self to embark on a journey, a journey of soul searching and self discovery... Kumbaga sa radyo o TV, this is Hero Bautista, now signing off -- a victim of a drug menage," Bautista said.

Bautista won his first term as city councilor in the May 9 elections. His sister, Harlene, called for prayers for her brother. "Masakit, mahirap, mabigat, di ka makapaniwala pero kailangan mong tanggapin. Kailangan mong kayanin para sa mahal mo sa buhay, para sa kapatid namin," Harlene said.

She added their family supports the Duterte administration's campaign against illegal drugs and said the family believes they will eventually see Bautista change for the better. QC Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte revealed last August 6 that one city councilor tested positive for drugs but did not mention the identity of the politician.

Under the QC Drug Free Workplace Ordinance, chronic users and drug dependents shall be submitted to a mandatory six-month treatment and rehabilitation in a government rehabilitation center. When employees again test positive after the rehab treatment, he or she may be suspended or dismissed under Civil Service Commission regulations.

Meanwhile, Bautista said in his speech that his case may serve as a lesson for other drug users and hoped to return to public service soon. "On my return, to champion the advocacy of the victims of nefarious effects of prohibited and illegal drugs, pro-active measures and programs must be undertaken by government to ease the pain of the victims," Bautista said.

H/T: inquirer

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