GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Two employees of the provincial government of South Cotabato have been dismissed from the service while three others are undergoing termination proceedings due to their involvement in illegal drug activities.

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said the five were among the local government employees that were placed under investigation in the last two months for allegedly using and peddling illegal drugs, specifically metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu.

She said four of them are casual and contractual workers while one is a regular or permanent employee.

“I immediately ordered their dismissal after confirming their involvement in these (drug-related) activities,” she said in a media forum.

The governor did not name the erring workers, who are all males and have tested positive of using various illegal drugs based on tests commissioned by the local government.

She said some of them had been on “awol” or absent without official leave before they were subjected to the investigation.

As to the permanent employee, Fuentes said they were able to uncover his illegal activities due to changes in his behavior in the last two years.

She said his co-workers specifically complained of his erratic behavior and poor performance while at work.

“It was later confirmed during the random drug tests,” she said.

Aside from the dismissal of the erring workers, Fuentes said they submitted their records to local police units for proper monitoring.

She said it’s important to alert authorities regarding their cases as there’s a possibility that they might resume their illegal activities.

In April and June, two provincial government employees were arrested by operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Region 12 and the South Cotabato police for their involvement in the illegal drug trade.

The two, who were nabbed in separate buy-bust operations, were assigned at the Provincial Engineer’s Office and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist. PNA