Morales’ credibility questioned in Senate probe on PDEA ‘leak’

(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Former Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) investigation agent Jonathan Morales “believes in what he assumes as true,” according to the agency’s Investigation Service Acting Director Martin Francia.

Francia gave this description before the upper chamber’s ongoing probe on PDEA’s leaked operational documents from March 11, 2012, that linked certain personalities to illegal drug use, which Morales alleged to be President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and actress Maricel Soriano.

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“Dati sampalataya ako sa kanya (Morales), ngayon hindi na kasi marami po siyang sinasabi na in-a-assume lang niya. Nag-a-assume siya at sa paniniwala niya ‘yon ang totoo pero ‘di naman,” Francia told the chamber’s committee on public order and dangerous drugs on Tuesday when Senator Jinggoy Estrada asked him about the former PDEA agent’s credibility.

(I used to have faith in him, but now he says many things based on assumption. He assumes things and believes them as true even though they are not.)

Since he was the direct head of Morales at that time, Francia said the former agent used to seek his permission to validate leads from various informants. But Francia disclosed that the information about the leaked documents did not reach him.

The PDEA official stressed that Morales should have consulted him first so he could relay the information to the higher authorities, who would eventually contact Carlos Gadapan, the agency’s deputy director general in 2012.

However, Morales said Francia was aware of the information on the leaked documents since the latter used to be his boss.

Estrada, along with Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, the committee chair, further questioned Morales’ credibility as they tried to unveil the identity of a “confidential informant” of the agency’s leaked papers.

But Morales said he could no longer recall the source’s identity and opted not to divulge their gender.

READ: Ex-PDEA agent forgets name of document leaker

Pressing the former PDEA agent more, dela Rosa proposed conducting an executive session so Morales could reveal the informant’s identity. However, the latter said he would only agree to reveal the source’s gender.

Giving his opinion, Estrada suspected that Morales leaked the PDEA operational documents as the senator disclosed that Morales had been charged with criminal complaints in several local courts.

“This person has been charged with violation of article 180 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), which is still pending before the Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 4 in San Fernando, Pampanga. Violation of article 180 of RPC is about false testimony and the criminal cases filed against Mr. Morales based on validated information from a concerned citizen. If this is true, estafa pending before Metropolitan Trial Court in Pasig City, slight physical injuries pending before Branch 72 Pasig City,” Estrada said.

“And as a final remark, the facts and evidence presented clearly demonstrate the questionable integrity and credibility of this particular resource person, and the same evidence refutes all accusations against the PDEA and its current leadership. The statements given by this particular resource person against the agency and leadership are evidently perjurious, defamatory, and outright false,” he added.

But Morales, who signed the papers, maintained his statement on the issue.