MANILA, Philippines (AP) — More than 100 Philippine troops tested positive for illegal drugs during random testing last year, a military spokesman said Monday.
Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said that 113 mostly young and low-ranking personnel tested positive during drug testing that involved 20,000 troops in the 120,000-strong armed forces. If follow-up tests and an investigation confirm the initial findings, they may be discharged from service.
A military statement did not say if the findings marked an increase in the number of drug users in the military, but that the army and navy, particularly the marines, have consistently registered the most number of personnel who tested positive in past years.
The Philippine military, one of Asia’s most ill-equipped, has been working to improve its equipment and training.