Suarez to Zubiri: Why PDEA leaks sill being heard?

Suarez thanks Zubiri for reminder, but why PDEA leaks sill being heard?

/ 02:48 PM May 08, 2024

While he thanks Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri for reminding him that hearings must not be turned into political circuses, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker David Suarez asks why allegedly fabricated claims of personalities doing drugs are still being discussed.

Deputy Speaker David Suarez (Photo from House of Representatives FB page)

MANILA, Philippines — While he thanks Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri for reminding senators that hearings must not be turned into political circuses, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker David Suarez asks why allegedly fabricated claims of personalities doing drugs are still being discussed.

Suarez, in a press briefing on Wednesday, said he expected more from the Senate leadership in terms of why the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs was allowed to continue discussing issues based on a questionable document.


The House official was referring to the panel’s hearing on documents allegedly leaked from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), which linked President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and actress Maricel Soriano to drug use.  PDEA officials have denied the existence of the document, but committee chair and Senator Ronald dela Rosa believes the document is legitimate.


“Not only did I expect more from the good senator, but I expected more from the Senate leadership, I’m not quite sure what their processes are in the Senate, but with us in Congress, if you do a motu proprio hearing, it is required to have a two-thirds vote of the committee, and the leadership of the House should concur with it.  That’s how we do it in Congress,” Suarez said.

“I thank and I congratulate Senate President Migz for saying that hearings should not be turned into a political circus.  But the panel has conducted two hearings already.  If that was the case, they should have stopped it from the start, right?  Because they should have discussed it first if it has substance, if it is sufficient in form, and if there is a legitimate basis to continue the probe,” he added.

According to Suarez, it seems the Senate leadership just allowed the committee headed by dela Rosa to continue with the hearings even if PDEA did not authenticate the documents.

“But why did they allow two hearings to be conducted, when we know that for the two hearings, again, nothing but lies, fabricated truth, uncorroborated statements, no evidence whatsoever to talk of.  So again, like what I said earlier, can we just focus on nation-building, unifying the country, and not be divisive when it comes to our efforts as duly-elected officials of our country?” he asked.

Zubiri on Tuesday cautioned his colleagues against turning their investigations into a political circus or a witch hunt, noting that there were“very serious accusations” made during the said Senate panel’s discussions. According to Zubiri, no documentary evidence, such as photos or corroborating testimonies, was presented.

The Senate chief also wondered why the president’s drug test was being brought up in the hearing “even though it does not appear to be germane or important to the subject of the motu proprio investigation.”


READ: Zubiri to senators: Don’t turn probes into political circus, witch hunt 

Instead of focusing on the personalities dragged into the issue, Suarez believes the panel must follow Senator Francis Escudero’s suggestions — that the focus would be on why the document was leaked, and if it is really authentic in the first place.

“And that point raised by Senator Chiz Escudero is excellent — the point was the leak of the document, so why are we talking about personalities in the document?  So those are two different issues that need to be addressed.  Because if it’s just about the leak, then we will ask who leaked it, how it was leaked, and who are involved,” Suarez said.

“But they dragged different personalities and names there, who should not really be involved in the investigation being done by the committee.  So my appreciation of that fact, number one, you’re out to malign, destroy, the personalities mentioned […] For me this is very unfortunate, it saddens me that we have to go down to this level of political discourse when we should focus our attention on more important issues such as the West Philippine Sea,” he added.

On Tuesday, Soriano appeared before the hearings to belie claims that she was targeted in a pre-operation report due to drug use.  The said document was verified by PDEA agent Jonathan Morales, who was invited to the hearing.

READ: Maricel Soriano on Senate’s PDEA leaks probe: ‘Nakakakaba, nakakatakot’ 

But House lawmakers have questioned Morales’ credibility and why he was invited to a hearing that was supposed to discuss a drug sting in Alitagtag, Batangas. Last Wednesday, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers asked why Morales’ testimonies were needed for the drug bust on April 16.

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

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Then on May 2, Tingog party-list Rep. Jude Acidre said he and other lawmakers are also confused as to why Morales was even invited into the Senate hearing, asking if this might be a prelude to the politics of the midterm elections.

TAGS: Leaks, PDEA, Senate

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.