Senate Hearing Probes Alleged PDEA Leaks, Questions Witness Credibility

The Philippine Senate's Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs investigates alleged document leaks from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, focusing on the credibility of former PDEA agent Jonathan Morales. Former PDEA chiefs and senators question Morales' background and motives, citing previous criminal complaints and accusations of lying.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Senate Hearing Probes Alleged PDEA Leaks, Questions Witness Credibility

Senate Hearing Probes Alleged PDEA Leaks, Questions Witness Credibility

The Philippine Senate's Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs continued its investigation into alleged document leaks from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on May 13, 2024. The hearing focused on the credibility of former PDEA agent Jonathan Morales, who claimed that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was linked to illegal drugs.

Why this matters: The integrity of government investigations and the credibility of key witnesses are crucial in maintaining public trust and ensuring accountability. The outcome of this probe may have far-reaching implications for the Philippine government's efforts to combat illegal drugs and corruption.

Two former PDEA chiefs, Dionisio Santiago and Arturo Cacdac, attended the hearing as witnesses. Santiago, who served as PDEA chief from 2006 to 2010, described Morales as a "professional storyteller liar" or "STL," citing opinions from Morales' former colleagues. Cacdac, who led the agency in 2012, denied Morales' accusations of prejudice and recalled a 2012 operation where Morales admitted to planting evidence. "They were just 'doormats.' But I was puzzled why he was all over. Why is he bypassing his superiors?" Santiago said, referring to Morales.

Senator Jinggoy Estrada questioned Morales' credibility, branding him a "congenital liar" and expressing disbelief that he was still allowed to testify despite facing various criminal complaints, including planting evidence, estafa, extortion, and giving false testimony. Morales had previously testified on the authenticity of leaked 2012 documents implicating then-senator Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and actress Maricel Soriano in illegal drug use.

During the hearing, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri reminded his colleagues to avoid using Senate hearings for political persecution, emphasizing the need for evidence-based discourse and truthfulness. Senator Ronald dela Rosa, chair of the Senate committee on public order, assured Zubiri that the committee's goal was to "ferret out the truth about this issue" and not engage in political persecution.

The Senate hearing on the alleged PDEA leaks marks the third in a series of investigations into the matter. As the inquiry continues, the credibility of key witness Jonathan Morales remains a central focus, with former PDEA chiefs and senators questioning his background and motives. Senate President Zubiri's call for evidence-based discourse and truthfulness underscores the importance of maintaining the integrity of the investigation and avoiding political persecution.

Key Takeaways

  • Philippine Senate investigates alleged PDEA document leaks linking President Marcos Jr. to illegal drugs.
  • Former PDEA agent Jonathan Morales' credibility is questioned by senators and former PDEA chiefs.
  • Morales faces various criminal complaints, including planting evidence and giving false testimony.
  • Senate President Zubiri emphasizes the need for evidence-based discourse and truthfulness in the investigation.
  • The inquiry's outcome may impact the Philippine government's efforts to combat illegal drugs and corruption.