EX-INTEL AGENT TELLS OTHERWISE: PDEA insists leaked docs linking Marcos to drugs non-existent (2024)


By HANA BORDEY, GMA Integrated News

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Moro Virgilio Lazo insisted Tuesday that the supposed pre-operation report and authority to operate which both circulated on social media are non-existent.

Lazo made the statement during the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs motu proprio investigation into the supposed leaked confidential documents linking President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to illegal drugs.

"There are no such documents, your honor... Siguradong sigurado po kami. Walang dokumento na ganyan (We are very sure of that. There is no such document)," Lazo said during the hearing.

Last April 2, PDEA already released a statement, indicating that the two documents were not found in their Plans and Operations Reports Management Information System or PORMIS.

"In an age where Artificial Intelligence can generate realistic fake videos, spurious documents, and fantastic claims at having 'insider information', the public is cautioned to be more careful in believing such fake news," PDEA's April 2 statement read.

However, also during the hearing, former PDEA intelligence officer Jonathan Morales said that the leaked confidential documents were processed by him but he was surprised that these were divulged online.

As he contend that Morales' allegations were "fabricated" and "have no basis," Lazo said the Senate panel could not expect genuine testimonies from the former because he perjured his application to the agency by not disclosing that he was dismissed from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Lazo also mentioned Morales' dismissal from PDEA for dishonesty and grave misconduct, as well as the robbery extortion case filed against the latter, among others.

Morales refuted these and said the cases filed against him were dismissed and he was already exonerated from accountability. On his dismissal from the PNP, Morales said he was able to get clearance from the headquarters, which allowed him to eventually file an application to PDEA and comply with the job requirements.

For Morales, Lazo denied the existence of the document because the person involved is the President who appointed him as the chief of PDEA.

According to Morales, the supposed operation against Marcos in 2012 did not push through because it was stopped by former PDEA deputy director general Carlos Gadapan.

Morales claimed that Gadapan told him not to conduct the operations because former Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. allegedly ordered it.

Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, who presided over the hearing, ordered the issuance of an invitation to Ochoa.

Four PDEA agents whom Morales claimed to be aware of the operations' documents dated March 11, 2012 denied any knowledge of the operations, with one pointing out that the said date fell on a weekend.

As both PDEA and Morales stood firm on their claims, Dela Rosa noted a deadlock in the discussions.

Dela Rosa,who led the previous administration's drug war when he was appointed as PNP chief in 2016, said that he does not doubt Lazo's position that the documents were non-existent and vouched for the PDEA chief's integrity being a fellow graduate of the Philippine Military Academy.

But Dela Rosa pointed out that he cannot disregard the fact that the photos which circulated online appear to be filed documents that were photocopied.

He then ordered the issuance of an invitation to vlogger "Maharlika," who disclosed the information on social media, to personally attend the hearing so they can figure out how these supposed confidential documents were leaked.

Dela Rosaexplained that there isa need to hold people who leaked such documents accountable as this might also happen in other government agencies and this might cause threats to national security.

During the hearing, the National Privacy Commission said those who leaked the PDEA documents may be held accountable, including those who shared it online because it shows sensitive personal information which is a violation of the Data Privacy Act.

It was also discussed by the Department of Justice in the hearing that the leak of confidential information can be grounds for violation of Section 7 of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees as well as, Section 3 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

In an interview after the hearing, Dela Rosa said he is willing to shoulder the travel expenses of vlogger Maharlika, who is currently in the United States, or the latter could go to the nearest Philippine Embassy so she could testify under oath.—AOL, GMA Integrated News

EX-INTEL AGENT TELLS OTHERWISE: PDEA insists leaked docs linking Marcos to drugs non-existent (2024)


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