Maricel Soriano to ignite PDEA probe

Posted by watchmen
May 20, 2024


ihnBy Ade Fajardo

Senator Ronald dela Rosa dignified online babble by actually initiating a Senate investigation into the so-called “PDEA leaks,” which pertain to alleged 2012 documents that link one Bonget Marcos and one Maricel Soriano to illegal drug use.

It was actually former President Rodrigo Duterte who first endorsed the rumors started by online vloggers. In a Davao rally this January, he said that when he was City Mayor he saw Marcos’ name on the list of drug personalities of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Duterte did not explain how he was able to access from his enclave in Mindanao PDEA documents pertaining to drug personalities in Luzon.



The documents in question are PDEA’s Authority to Operate and Pre-Operation Report dated March 11, 2012 both signed by former investigation officer Jonathan Morales.

Morales said that the actual operation did not push through because it was not greenlighted by his superiors ostensibly upon pressure of Paquito Ochoa who was executive secretary at the time.

PDEA Director General Moro Virgilio Lazo belied the allegation, categorically declaring that the documents are fake. They do not exist in the records of the PDEA.

How could one leak a document that was never there in the first place?



Dela Rosa is the chairperson of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs.

After hearing testimony last Tuesday, he declared that the “leaked documents” are not fabricated or AI-generated. He said they are authentic because of the punch holes shown on the copies which he said were clearly indicative that they were retrieved from a file folder.

Consequently, he did not terminate the hearing but directed the committee secretariat to invite Soriano and Ochoa to the continuation of the hearing today.



Of what value are those documents when PDEA, their official custodian, refuses authentication because they may not be validated from their files?

PDEA documents are serialized by computerization. The “leaked” documents bear no serial numbers and do not conform to norms of official filing and documentation. They cannot be admitted in court proceedings because they violate exclusionary rules like the best evidence rule and the hearsay rule.

Moreover, current PDEA officials enjoy the presumption of regularity in the exercise of their official functions.



Is there sense in continuing an investigation based on possibly fabricated documents?

Is there even political sense? In this battle of brinksmanship between the old and new administrations, all types of weaponry, including mud, are apparently useful.

Dela Rosa has announced that actress Soriano has agreed to honor the Senate investigation. Will she validate the allegations by confirming that she used to enjoy pot sessions with the President?



One this is sure, though. That hearing will be top draw. A multi-awarded actress drawn to political showmanship — a not so distant cousin of showbusiness.

All ears will be glued to the hearing which will temporarily mute all discussions on the West Philippine Sea and the International Criminal Court./WDJ

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