BE VERY AFRAID
Top police and government officials in Cebu yesterday said the death of Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz should now instill fear on other drug lords still operating in the province, as their days are now numbered.
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III yesterday said that although he was not saying that he was happy with Jaguar’s death, “at least that’s one drug lord gone.”
“I hope this will instill really fear sa atong mga big time drug lords kay we know that they are plying their trade anywhere especially dinhi sa Cebu. Kini si Jaguar taud-taod naman gyud nga giila diri and wala man gyud na siya masakpi (Jaguar’s notoriety has been well known for a long time but he was not caught),” he told reporters at the Capitol yesterday.
The presence of drug personalities like Jaguar in Cebu was one proof that the province has become a supplier of illicit drugs to other parts of the country, according to Davide.
Davide said the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Commission (Cpadac) has been closely monitoring these drug suppliers in the province, together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). This, Davide said, is a matter that should be addressed by the PNP and the other anti-drug agencies of the government.
Chief Supt. Patrocinio Comendador Jr., director of the PNP’s Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said the death of Jaguar has been a big blow to drug syndicates operating in the region.
“With his (death), the drug trade will be severely affected. Their drug organization will be in a chaos. As what I have said, we will not stop with Jaguar. We will chase the rest of the drug operators in here,” said Comendador.
Comendador likewise brushed off suspicions that Jaguar was silenced to prevent him from squealing on his protectors, stressing that the operation was legitimate and product of thorough intelligence work.
Cebu City Mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña, who was the first to announce through Facebook the news of Jaguar’s death, likewise scoffed at suspicions that the drug personality might have been killed to stop him from naming his protectors in government.
“It is very unlikely because if that were true, he would have been killed by police other than the ones I trust. Also he said he was going to retire and cooperate with the police. If he was sincere, why didn’t he surrender right then and there? Why was he rotating among eight different hideouts in Las Piñas, Manila armed with a body guard?” said Osmeña on his Facebook page.
Osmeña, in fact, said he would give a P100,000 cash reward to the police officers who gunned down Jaguar and his bodyguard in Las Piñas City on Friday night.
Davide, a lawyer, also said that killings of drug lords during raids are “justified” especially if they are caught in the act.
Next comes Barok
At the time of operation in Las Piñas, police said Jaguar was not their target but Alvaro Alvaro alias “Barok,” the number one drug personality in Cebu province who has a pending arrest warrant.
Comendador said it just so happened that the operatives discovered that Barok and Jaguar were often seen together. Barok, however, eluded arrest as he was believed to have disembarked unnoticed from the vehicle that was later flagged down by the police, which led to the shootout that ended with Jaguar’s death.
Their next target, according to Comendador, would be Barok, who was also believed to be responsible for the killing of Poro town police chief, Senior Insp. Jonas Tahanlangit, on April 4.
“We have been receiving information (about Barok) but we cannot reveal it because of pending operations,” he said.
Comendador was so pleased by his men’s accomplishment that special promotions now await the operatives of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) who got Jaguar.
“I will recognized the efforts of my men and already applied for a higher commendation coming from the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame for them. But first, we have to create a board to evaluate. For the rest of the team members, I will give special promotion,” said Comendador.
This amid the call of the residents of Barangay Duljo-Fatima to investigate the death of Jaguar, a resident of the village who, according to Apas Barangay Captain Ramil Ayuman, was clearly meant to prevent the drug suspect from naming his protectors in power.
“Mao ni among panawagan nga kinahanglan imbestigar ni. Dako among pagtuo nga wala matarong pag-direct. If sa salida pa, walay klaro ang script. Gipatay to og tuyo (This is our call; that his death be looked into. We firmly believe that his death was planned. If it were a movie, the script was not made properly),” Ayuman told CDN last night.
Ayuman said a meeting would be called among members of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) while Tisa Barangay Captain Philip Zafra, the ABC president, would give a privilege speech concerning Jaguar’s death during the council session on Wednesday.
“(Jaguar) already made his pronouncement to surrender. The pattern was clear that he was intentionally killed so that his protectors will be spared,” Ayuman added.
Amid the criticisms, Comendador said his men should receive the recognition that they deserved.
“Of course we respect their opinion but let us also see the sacrifices of our police officers. I will ask you again: one less drug lord in Central Visayas, is it good or bad?” he said.
On his Facebook account, the regional director congratulated his men, cheered them up, and greeted them Happy Father’s Day yesterday.
“Good work regional intelligence division police officers, despite the conspiracy theorists who haven’t done something in their lifetime as law enforcers, I personally know the hard work, sacrifices and dedication that you have shown to get Jaguar,” he said in a social media post.
After years of chase, he said that only “true-bloodied operatives know the difficulties and challenges just to get one drug lord.”
“Happy father’s day to all law enforcers who are doing their job by doing not by talking,” he added.
Bring it on
Osmeña, meanwhile, said he has done more than his predecessor even before he could take office.
“I did more in one month to fight drugs than (outgoing mayor) Mike Rama has done in six years. The best part is, my term has not started yet. Many are wondering why the police are only really moving now. I think the question kind of answers for itself,” wrote Osmeña cryptically.
Osmeña’s Facebook posts earned varied comments from commending him of his work to throwing veiled threats at him. But he took it all in stride.
“There are now significant number of Jaguar sympathizers on my page (most of them have blacked out their profile pictures) who are sending me threats. Most are from Duljo. They are very angry. Intelligence is picking up chatter from underground talking retribution. Do you know what that means? It means what I’ve done has made a real impact,” Osmeña wrote on his post.
One post even said that Osmeña’s house should be burned down. Osmeña replied by giving his residence address.
“I took this job knowing the risks, I’m going to do my job. Think you can scare me into stopping? Think again. I do not make my decisions based on fear,” challenged Osmeña.
Rumors were also spreading that Jaguar, after his stint at the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City, underwent cosmetic surgery which led some netizens to insinuate that the person the police killed was not Jaguar.
“If it weren’t the real Jaguar, half of Duljo Fatima wouldn’t be calling for my murder,” was Osmeña’s only reply.
It was September last year when operatives of the City City Police Office’s Intelligence Branch searched Jaguar’s compound in Duljo but he eluded arrest. The operation yielded about P4 million worth of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride). There were speculations that a police officer protecting him might have tipped Jaguar about the operation.
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