Reah Mae Tocmo’s friend, Jewel Smith, denies knowledge on killing
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Jewel Smith, one of Reah Mae Tocmo’s closest friends, denied that she had any knowledge of her brutal death.
Smith went to the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) on Monday, August 7, 2023, to clear her name following claims from a taxi driver that she and a foreigner boarded his taxi with a huge box on July 17.
In an interview with reporters, Smith said she did not go out of her boarding house in Brgy. Looc, Mandaue City since clocking out of her work from a bar in A.S. Fortuna on July 16.
“Katong July 17, naa ra gyud kos Looc. Saksi gyud ang mga silingan. Di man gyud ko ganahan mugawas,” said Smith.
(Last July 17, I was just in Looc. My neighbors could testify to that. I really don’t like going out.)
She also denied that she had been to B. Rodriguez Street and in Brgy. Labangon on July 17.
It can be recalled that a taxi driver, whose identity remained anonymous for his security, did an interview with a local radio station, alleging that a woman with tattoos, accompanied by a foreign-looking man, boarded his taxi from a mall in B. Rodriguez to a condominium complex in Brgy. Labangon.
He described the woman as petite, with light brown-colored hair, and tattoos on her thigh. She was also carrying a huge empty box, according to the taxi driver.
Tocmo’s dead body was found inside a box on the afternoon of July 17 near a gated subdivision in Sitio Mohon, Brgy. Tisa, which is the neighboring village of Brgy. Labangon.
Following the taxi driver’s claims, many believed it was Smith who, in response, challenged the driver to present further proof, such as his vehicle’s dashcam footage, to support his statements.
“Klarohon unta niya kay ang iyahang gibuhat sa akoa dako kaayo (nga sayop)… Unta tay, bago ka nag-accuse og tawo, gisure sad unta to nimo,” said.
(He should be very sure because what he did to me is very wrong. What you should have done ‘Tay is before you accused a person, you should have been really sure.)
Smith also considered filing charges against the taxi driver ‘for spreading lies and bringing unwanted stress to her and her family.’
Both Smith and Tocmo came from Davao del Norte. The former decided to fly to Cebu in April in search of job opportunities.
She then invited her friend to join her. Tocmo arrived in Cebu on June 14.
Tocmo lived briefly in the staff house of the bar where Smith worked, before relocating to her friend’s boarding house in Brgy. Looc.
According to Smith, the last time she saw Tocmo alive was when they dined out on the afternoon of July 16.
When her friend had not returned to her boarding house a day later, she said she filed a missing persons case before the barangay hall, which referred her to the police.
In the meantime, police in Cebu City said they will look into the claims the taxi driver and Smith. The police already tagged two suspects in Tocmo’s killing.
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