Barbers re-elected chair of dangerous drugs panel

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    THE House of Representatives on Tuesday night re-elected Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers as chair of the committee on dangerous drugs.

    Barbers, a party mate of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano in the Nacionalista Party (NP), chaired the same panel in the 17th Congress under the leadership of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and, later, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    “I thank the House leadership and my colleagues for their continued trust. Rest assured that my panel will do its part to support the President’s war against illegal drugs,” said the lawmaker, who has filed a measure reviving the death penalty.

    Barbers, during the last Congress, filed a resolution subjecting all lawmakers and their staff to undergo random drug tests to complement President Duterte’s anti-drug campaign.

    In 2017, the Barbers panel recommended that the Bureau of Customs be replaced with a new revenue collection agency with a different system of collection “to avoid corruption and to increase revenue collection.”

    The BOC came under fire for the entry of P6.4 billion worth of shabu that led to the resignation of then Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.

    The panel also looked into the August 7, 2018 seizure by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), PNP and the BOC of two magnetic lifters at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) that contained 355 kilos of shabu valued at P2.4 billion.