May 24, 2024

The Insider News

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Barbers: ‘PDEA Leaks’ guy is no hero; with stained credibility and sullied past

THE Chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs today questioned the credibility and sullied past of a former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agent allegedly behind the spurious “PDEA Leaks” linking celebrities and top government officials in illegal drugs. 

Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said dishonorably dismissed PDEA agent Jonathan Morales, who is now masquerading as an anti-drug crusader under a group called “Anti-Drug Advocate Laban ng Pamilyang Pilipino Center for Investigative Regulatory Compliance”, himself reportedly has a very shady past while in the police service and later as PDEA agent. 

“Base sa mga ulat, si Morales ay na-dismiss sa police service bago pa sya nag-apply as PDEA agent. Sa pinirmahan nya na Personal Data Sheet sa PDEA, sinabi nya umano na wala, pero meron pala, syang kaso sa PNP bago sya nag-apply sa PDEA,” he said. 

“Nuong nakalusot na sya sa PDEA, naakusahan naman siya later ng kanyang mga superiors at kasamahan mismo sa PDEA na umano’y sangkot sa pilipit na pag-aresto at P8 million extortion sa isang suspected Tsinoy drug lord na kinilala na si Mark Tan ng Binono, Manila,” he added. 

Even Morales’ superior at that time, former PDEA chief Arturo Cacdac, despised the former’s dishonesty by claiming in a congressional hearing that “he (Morales) was asked to plant evidence, to produce evidence, in an alleged shabu laboratory in San Fernando, Pampanga.” 

“During the hearing, when I wasn’t around, Morales said that the evidence was planted, but in his affidavit of arrest, he said it was a buy-bust operation,” Cacdac said in Filipino in a TV interview sometime in 2013.  

Morales was officially dismissed from the PDEA in 2013 because of “grave misconduct, dishonesty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.”

Early last month, Morales again surfaced after he reportedly authenticated a misleading PDEA operational documents – Authority to Operate and Pre-Operation Report both dated March 11, 2012 – linking President Bongbong Marcos Jr. and actress Maricel Soriano to illegal drugs. 

But PDEA, through its chief Virgilio Moro Lazo, has debunked Morales’ claim, saying PDEA ran a check through its Plans and Operations Reports Management Information System or PORMIS and found that no such operation was logged on said date. 

“A critical feature of PORMIS is that one cannot insert or tamper with recorded operations. All pre-operation documents are serialized and recorded in this database. This ensures the system’s integrity and negates any doubt on the data the system contains,” Lazo said.

“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,” he added. 

For his part, Barbers also expressed amazement on why Morales was made to appear in a Senate hearing which was supposed to conduct inquiry in the seizure of around 1.4 tons or P9.68 billion worth of crystal meth (shabu) in a police checkpoint in Alitagtag town in Batangas last April 15. 

“The Senate hearing was supposed to be an inquiry on the seizure of 1.4 tons of shabu in Batangas. I’m surprised, and many of us are wondering, why Morales would appear and be included as resource person in that hearing. Is there something, a drama maybe, that is unfolding on this issue?” he asked.