Ex-PDEA agent claims legitimacy of docs linking Marcos to illegal drugs

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. Photo from Presidential Communications Office

A FORMER Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agent confirmed on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, the existence of an operational document linking President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to illegal drugs.

During the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs inquiry into the alleged leak of confidential information from PDEA, former PDEA intelligence officer Jonathan Morales said the documents currently circulating on social media showing Marcos as among the targets of an anti-drug operation in 2012 was legitimate, stressing that he was the one who processed it.

“Ako ho ‘yung imbestigador na humarap doon sa confidential informant at ‘yung confidential informant na yun kinunan ko ng statement kasi ‘yung kanyang mga ipinakikitang litrato masyado mabigat ‘yung mga involve, merong artista, merong politician, merong civilian,” he said, adding that Marcos was one of the persons in the photos showed by the informant.

He said the information relayed to them by the informant led to the issuance of Authority to Operate and a Pre-Operation Report in March 2012.

Marcos was among the targets as stated in the pre-operation report along with some unidentified male and female cohorts.

It was stated in the document that there was information that the target personalities were “frequently using illegal drugs” inside a condominium unit in Makati City.

In the same hearing, PDEA Director General Moro Virgilio Lazo maintained that there were no such documents on the PDEA Plans and Operations Reports Management Information System or Pormis.

“There are no such documents, your honor... Siguradong-sigurado po kami. Walang dokumento na ganyan,” he said.

(There are no such documents, your honor... We are absolutely sure. There is no such document.)

Lazo admitted, however, that there was no Pormis yet in 2012 but they have a Data Monitoring System.

Eight other PDEA agents who were former colleagues of Morales supported Lazo’s statement that no such document was ever made, and there was no interview of an informant based on Morales’ testimony.

Lazo questioned the credibility of Morales, whom he claimed had perjured his application to the agency by not disclosing that he was dismissed from the Philippine National Police (PNP).

He also bared documents showing that Morales was dismissed from PDEA over dishonesty and grave misconduct, as well as the robbery extortion.

Morales said he was already acquitted from the cases filed against him while the PNP has already issued a clearance for his future application to other government agencies.

“Your honor, ako naiintindihan ko si General Lazo kasi ‘yung mga naiinvolve yun ang nag-appoint sa kanya (as PDEA director),” he said.

(Your honor, I understand General Lazo because those involved are the ones who appointed him (as PDEA director).)

“Naiintindihan ko po ‘yung kanilang pinanggagalingan, ‘yung kanilang sitwasyon ngayon kasi kung sila magsasabi ng totoo, kapalit po iyon ng kanilang career at serbisyo, pagkain po sa kanilang mesa,” he added.

(I understand where they are coming from, their situation now because if they tell the truth, it will be in exchange for their career and service, food on their table.)

The former PDEA officer said the operation in 2012, however, did not push through after it was prevented by former PDEA deputy director general Carlos Gadapan on the orders of former executive secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.

Committee chairperson Senator Ronald dela Rosa ordered the issuance of an invitation to Ochoa to attend the inquiry, as well as to vlogger "Maharlika," who was linked to the disclosure of the document online.

While he vouched for the integrity of Lazo as a fellow graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, Dela Rosa said he also cannot disregard the fact that the photos, which circulated online, appear to be filed documents that were photocopied. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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