Solon on PDEA leaks hearing: What law do you want to amend?

Solon asks Senate panel on PDEA leaks hearing: What law do you want to amend?

/ 01:15 PM May 08, 2024

Solon asks Senate panel on PDEA leaks hearing: What law do you want to amend?

COMPOSITE PHOTO Senate of the Philippines and House of Representatives/INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker in the  House of Representatives has questioned a Senate panel regarding what law it seeks to amend, as the hearings about fake documents implicating personalities for supposed drug use continues.

Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Zia Alonto Adiong in a press briefing on Wednesday said that the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs should specify what law they want to change if they would continue discussing the supposedly leaked Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) documents.


READ: Reliance on fake PDEA docs questioned: A prelude to midterm polls? 


However, Adiong said House lawmakers do not see the amendment of laws as a “substantive reason” for the Senate probe.

“If this hearing is done […] supposedly in aid of legislation, your main objective there is to number one, review existing laws, and then amend them, and then improve on the laws that would make it fitting to the current system or demand ng time, or present circumstance,” he told reporters in Makati.

“We don’t see that as the substantive reason for this ongoing investigation, because first and foremost, you do not have any basis for what you want to achieve […] what do we really want to do, what is the main objective and motive because these are coordinated. If the objective is really to review existing laws, then tell us, what laws would you like to amend?” he asked.

Adiong said that Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, chairperson of the Senate panel, should know that it takes a strong evidence to prove a case.

Dela Rosa is a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief — the first police head appointed by former president Rodrigo Duterte.

READ: ‘It’s the fentanyl,’ Marcos says after former president Duterte tags him ‘drug addict’ 


“Senator Bato is a friend, in fact many of us are friends of Senator Bato, and being a policeman — he is a former PNP chief — he knows the rules of evidence, if your goal really is to achieve a successful prosecution, you have to have a legal basis and a sound evidence to prove your case,” Adiong said.

“In this what we see is happening in the Senate’s investigation, the institution where the document is supposedly from, the PDEA, has said that there are no verified accounts, no verified documents […] So everything is hearsay.  If you are, based on his background as a policeman, we know that you present your case, your evidence, to the fiscal, to the prosecutor.  If there’s no solid evidence, that would go to waste,” he added.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and actress Maricel Soriano’s names figured in a pre-operation report that PDEA supposedly released. Former PDEA agent Jonathan Morales claimed that he himself prepared the report, but incumbent PDEA officials denied the authenticity of the document.

Marcos has been linked by some figures, including former President Rodrigo Duterte, to drug use. In November 2021 — even before the campaign season for the 2022 polls — Duterte linked one of the candidates for president to cocaine usage which many believed was Marcos.

Marcos however has denied this, submitting himself to a drug test days after Duterte’s assertion. Last January, the President also refused to give weight to the former president’s accusations, noting that it might be the fentanyl acting up.

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Duterte previously admitted to using fentanyl, a strong painkiller that is said to be more potent than morphine and heroin.

TAGS: House of Representatives, Senate

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