May 27, 2024

The Insider News

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Senate leadership urged to intervene, halt ‘PDEA leaks’ probe

A HOUSE leader on Monday called on the Senate leadership to intervene and halt the investigation into the so-called “PDEA leaks,” citing the lack of substantial evidence and questionable testimonies presented during the hearings.

During a press conference at the House of Representatives, Assistant Majority Leader and Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Jil Bongalon said the direction and the quality of the investigation have cast doubt on the credibility and integrity of the Senate.

“What is at stake here is the integrity of the institution. Kung madalas tayong makakakita, makakarinig ng ganitong klaseng imbestigasyon in aid of legislation, wala naman pong nakukuha na sapat na ebidensya o impormasyon out of these three hearings conducted by the Senate, particularly the Committee on (Public Order and) Dangerous Drugs,” Bongalon said.

He added, “So I guess the Senate leadership has to intervene because even members of the Senate have already commented and reacted to the way the proceeding is being conducted. Pero sabi naman po nila na wala naman pong saysay iyong mga testimonya nitong dismissed PDEA agent and therefore what we have right now is fabricated evidence being presented before a committee hearing.”

Bongalon was referring to former PDEA intelligence officer Jonathan Morales, who testified before the Senate panel chaired by Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa that he prepared and signed the documents allegedly disclosing the agency’s anti-illegal drug operations targeting then-senator, now President, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and actress Maricel Soriano back in 2012. 

However, PDEA Director General Moro Virgilio Lazo testified before Dela Rosa’s committee, stating that the documents, including a purported pre-operation report and authority to operate, do not exist.

Lazo categorically declared Morales’ allegations as “fabricated” and “without basis,” cautioning the Senate panel against relying on testimony from an individual who previously committed perjury by concealing his dismissal from the Philippine National Police during his application to PDEA.

President Marcos recently labeled Morales as a “professional liar.”

However, Bongalon went further, describing Morales as a “pathological liar” due to his consistent dishonesty.

Bongalon emphasized the significance of conducting investigations in aid of legislation with clear direction and substantive evidence.

“So with these kinds of testimonies, there is no even corroborative evidence, there is no documentary evidence being presented. Ito lang very patent, iyong mismong identity lang ng agent na nagbigay sa kanya ng impormasyon, hindi niya maalala kung ito ba ay

babae or lalaki,” Bongalon said.

“We’re just wasting our time and effort

instead of focusing our investigation on more important issues being faced by our country,” he added.

He also stressed the need to halt the investigation to prevent any negative repercussions.

“So, I guess this investigation should be stopped and should be halted to avoid

any negative results that may come out of this investigation,” he said.

For his part, Assistant Majority Leader and La Union 1st District Rep. Francisco Paolo Ortega V underscored the importance of confirming the accuracy of the evidence and information presented during the “PDEA leaks” probe.

While acknowledging the Senate’s investigative efforts, Ortega questioned the accuracy of the information circulating. 

“With the way things are going, is the information true? May katotohanon po ba sa mga lumalabas na impormasyon kasi iyon po ang kailangang sundin eh,” he stated.

Ortega also expressed concerns about the allocation of time and resources, particularly if a majority of senators doubt the credibility of the allegations. 

“Sayang po ang time and resources kung parang majority po sa kanila ang tingin dito walang validity, walang katotohanan na iyong pinagsasabi nung resource person nila,” he added.

Moreover, he called on the Senate leadership to reconsider the continuation of the investigation, urging a focus on substantive issues. 

“The meat ng discussion is not centered on what should be. Sabi nga nila kung sino o saan ang cause ng leak, so the information is there pero may katotohanan po ba? Totoo po ba? Tingin po natin wala pong katotohanan,” Ortega said.