By Zaldy De Layola

PNA file photo

MANILA – A former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agent’s testimony linking President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to illegal drugs is part of a larger effort to discredit and destabilize the current administration, House of Representatives Deputy Majority Leader Rep. Jude Acidre said on Thursday.

Acidre, representative of the Tingog Party-list, even raised doubts about the credibility of former PDEA intelligence officer Jonathan Morales.

“I think it becomes even more clear now na itong mga pangyayaring ito ay kaparte ng isang mas malaki pang (these events are part of a bigger) effort to discredit and destabilize the current administration,” he said in a press conference at the House.

In a recent Senate hearing, Morales provided testimony on the purported “authenticity” of leaked 2012 documents allegedly implicating then Senator Bongbong Marcos and actress Maricel Soriano to illegal drug use.

PDEA Director General Moro Virgilio Lazo, however, strongly refuted Morales’ claims, asserting that the documents in question, including a supposed pre-operation report and authority to operate, were nonexistent.

Lazo said Morales’ allegations were “fabricated” and “have no basis,” emphasizing that the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs should not rely on testimony from an individual who had previously committed perjury by concealing his dismissal from the Philippine National Police (PNP) during his application to PDEA.

Acidre also questioned Morales’ showing up to accuse the President, especially since the Senate hearing was meant to tackle the seizure of about 1.4 tons of shabu worth PHP9.68 billion in Batangas.

“Katulad nyo medyo naguguluhan din ako (Like you I’m also quite confused),” he told the media.

He said the detailed explanations provided by PDEA, especially about how all operational reports are computerized and serialized, raised questions about Morales’ statements.

Echoing Acidre’s sentiments, Isabela 6th District Rep. Faustino “Inno” Dy questioned why Morales was included in the hearing when the main issue should have been the Alitagtag, Batangas 1.4-ton drug haul.

He also emphasized the ease of fabricating documents in today’s technology-driven world, citing the prevalence of deepfake technology.

Dy likewise noted the lack of evidence from the PDEA corroborating Morales’ claims and no less than the agency’s leadership had refuted the existence of such documents.

Assistant Majority Leader and Taguig City 2nd District Rep. Amparo Maria “Pammy” Zamora, said the PDEA has acknowledged that the document has no control number.

“So, obviously the document doesn’t exist,” Zamora said.

On Wednesday, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers questioned the credentials of Morales, who, he said, was dishonorably discharged from the police service. (PNA)