Ochoa denies stopping PDEA operation vs high profile personalities

Ochoa denies stopping PDEA operation vs high profile personalities

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 11:25 AM May 20, 2024

Ochoa denies stopping PDEA operation vs high profile personalities

Former Executive Secretary Atty. Paquito Ochoa Jr. arrives at the Senate for the PDEA leaks probe on Monday, May 20, 2024. (Noy Morcoso/INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines — Former Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. categorically denied on Monday that he ordered the halt of a Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operation in 2012 against high-profile personalities linked to illegal drugs.

The allegation against Ochoa was earlier made by former PDEA agent Jonathan Morales, who supposedly signed the alleged leaked PDEA pre-operational documents dated March 11, 2012.


Ochoa supposedly gave his order to stop the operation to then PDEA Deputy Director General Carlos Gadapan, based on an earlier testimony of Morales before the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs.


But Ochoa, at the continuation of the committee’s hearing on the issue, denied knowing Gadapan and Morales.

Ochoa also answered ‘no’ when the committee chairman, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, asked if he had seen the alleged leaked PDEA documents.

As to the allegation that he ordered Gadapan and the PDEA to stop the operation against actress Maricel Soriano and now President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.,  Ochoa reiterated that he did not know Morales.

“As earlier mentioned, I don’t even know him, and I don’t recall any occasion that we have met or talked, so I completely deny that I have made those instructions as alleged,” the former Executive Secretary said.

Soriano and Marcos were among the names mentioned in the alleged PDEA documents.

Dela Rosa also asked Ochoa about an alleged meeting in Malacañang in 2013 where Morales was invited to brief on the PDEA operations, including those ordered to be stopped.


“I can’t recall exactly if that indeed took place, but I only learned now when this hearing was conducted…” he said.

“I was never informed of such a meeting and even after that meeting, there was no report submitted time in regard to what transpired in that meeting,” Ochoa added.

Still responding to Dela Rosa’s queries, Ochoa confirmed working with First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos in a law firm.

But he said he withdrew from the law firm upon his appointment in Malacañang in 2010, during the time of the late President Benigno Aquino III.

“There were insinuations, ito naman ay insinuations lamang, na kaya daw nagkaroon ka ng interest na ipahinto yung operations because again, you were influenced by your partner in the law firm. Those are insinuations lang…” Dela Rosa.

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“That’s not true,” Ochoa answered.

TAGS: Paquito Ochoa, PDEA

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