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Docu links Marcos to drugs, is disputed; Senate probes


By Beting Laygo Dolor, Editor

MANILA  — Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) documents linking President Ferdinand Marcos Jr to illegal drugs which were leaked to media is being investigated by the Senate.

Besides the president, the documents also named actress Maricel Soriano as being involved in the illegal drug trade.

While the source of the leak has not yet been determined, former PDEA investigation agent Jonathan Morales admitted to the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs this week that he was the signatory of the document.

Morales, who now heads anti-drug advocate Laban ng Pamilyang Pilipino, also insisted that the contents were accurate.

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.

In the same hearing, PDEA Director General Moro Virgilio Lazo maintained that there were no such documents as claimed by Morales 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.

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.

The Senate committee headed by Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa took issue with a vlogger named Maharlika who addressed the former PNP chief directly in her vlog by saying the probe should focus on President Marcos, whom she referred to as ‘bangag,’ or high on drugs.

The president’s alleged drug use is not new, but it has again come to the fore when former executive secretary Vic Rodriguez said during several fora that Mr. Marcos should “undergo a credible hair follicle drug test.”

The president has said on multiple occasions that he would not dignify the rumors on his alleged illegal drug use.

Rodriguez said, “That’s not dignifying, it’s heeding the call and clamor of the Filipino people.”

He added that “if you have nothing to hide, it’s simple. Just undergo a credible hair follicle drug test.”

Former president Rodrigo Duterte has also called Mr. Marcos ‘bangag’ on multiple occasions, but has also somewhat retracted his statements by saying the drugs the president was using were legal, and for various ailments.

Duterte has also dared Mr. Marcos for both of them to undergo a drug test in public.

Instead of a hair follicle test, the former president said he and Mr. Marcos should take a blood test to be conducted by an independent doctor.

Speaking in the vernacular, Duterte recently said, “I dare him (Marcos) to have his blood tested in Luneta Park by an independent entity or doctor. I will do the same.”

The PDEA had cleared the president of alleged drug links, but this was after he had assumed office.

The PDEA report saying Mr. Marcos was a user of illegal drugs was made during the Duterte administration.

It can be noted that during his administration, then president Duterte had admitted to being a regular user of Fentanyl, a potent pain killer which is listed as an illegal drug.

But the former president said he was taking the drug “on doctor’s orders” due to the various motorcycle accidents he suffered in the past.

And until legitimate drug tests are taken by the concerned parties, the cloud of ‘bangag’ will continue to hang over them.

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