DRUG abusers on campus, beware. Teachers are now empowered to make arrests in school.

The Republic Act (RA) 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drug Act of 2002, particularly Article IV Section 44, deputizes school heads, supervisors, and faculty members (deemed persons in authority) to arrest any person who shall violate any of the provisions of the anti-drug law in the school or within its immediate vicinity.

However, the Dangerous Drugs Board is still in the process of drafting the implementing guidelines of the law.

Authored by Senators Robert Barbers and Vicente Sotto III and signed into law by President Macapagal-Arroyo last month, the law is founded on Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules of Court, the law on lawful arrest without warrant by a private person.

A warrantless arrest can only be legal if the offender is actually committing or is attempting to commit an offense. One can also make a warrantless arrest if one she has personal knowledge of the offense. The arrest powers may even be exercised beyond the immediate vicinity of the school.

With this, it has now become the duty of teachers and school employees to report to their superiors or the police, any person found committing drug offenses on campus.

The law also provides that failure to report such offenses within a reasonable period shall constitute sufficient disciplinary action from the school authorities.

However, skeptical reactions from the UST faculty greeted the new law.

“It’s going to be a difficult task. We’re not experts on such cases. I think we should be given enough guidelines and training for this. Or else, we might not implement it properly,” said AB professor Chrisma Bangaoil-Calumpang.

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