Jaguar’s right-hand man takes over his drug trade
One of the two identified right hand men of Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz is seen as the heir apparent of the operation left behind by the slain Cebuano drug lord, according to the police.
“I have already heard the name of Jumbo. He is in our watchlist, a drug peddler working for Jaguar. Some intelligence reports we got claimed that he is seen to replace the (drug ring) left by Diaz,” said Supt. Michael Bastes, chief of City Intelligence Branch (CIB) of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
Bastes told Cebu Daily News by phone yesterday that he was not surprised upon reading the name of Jumbo in the news reports naming him as one of the right hand men of Diaz together with someone identified only as Bon Nyor, also known as Hari.
“If (Jumbo) has already assumed as the new boss, we cannot tell. He is a relative of Diaz. Right now, he is not in Cebu. He and his other relatives have been moving from one place to another since the police are after them,” said Bastes in Cebuano.
Their names came out in an anonymous letter received on Friday by the Office of the Ombudsman in the (OMB) Visayas which asked the anti-graft body to investigate Duljo Fatima Barangay Captain Elmer Abella over his alleged links to Jaguar, a resident of the barangay.
The letter complaint, a copy of which was received by CDN on Saturday, accused Abella of protecting Jaguar, a claim that Abella yesterday vehemently denied.
“Wa gyud nay kamatuoran (It’s all a lie),” said Abella by phone yesterday.
But he declined to comment further, saying he would still need to consult his lawyer on his next moves since the complaint against him has already been lodged before the OMB Visayas.
Bastes, when asked to comment on the matter, said he would rather wait for the decision of the Ombudsman on the complaint now levelled against Abella, but recalled an incident in the past when the village chief allegedly publicly attested that Jaguar had stopped his illegal drug trade.
“As far as I can remember, nagpa-press conference to siya (Abella) sa una. Ingon niya nga nihunong nana si Diaz og pamaligya. (He held a press conference in the past where he said that Diaz had stopped selling drugs),” Bastes said.
Bastes also said it was understandable that the complainant would rather remain anonymous because of safety issues and they would be willing to provide assistance to the OMB. Bastes said they are willing to coordinate with the OMB if their assistance would be needed to secure witnesses.
The city police has also not stopped monitoring the barangay, especially the goings on at the Diaz compound, where most members of Jaguar’s nearest kin continue to reside.
Another police source, who declined to be named in the absence of an authority to speak for the organization, claimed Abella has not been cooperative in past police operations in the barangay.
The claim was bolstered by the anonymous complainant who claimed that the village chief acted more like Jaguar’s “spokesperson” when he declared that the latter had given up the illicit trade.
Jaguar also told two radio reporters that he planned to surrender to top police authorities in Camp Crame, but he ended up dead barely a week after. He was killed, along with his bodyguard, in a shootout with Cebu-led police units in Las Piñas City in Metro Manila on June 17.
Jaguar had made himself scarce after eluding arrest when police raided his high-walled compound in Barangay Duljo Fatima in September last year.
The anonymous resident claimed Abella was seen inside the compound the day before a police operation was launched at the Diaz compound.
The operation was led by Supt. Romeo Santander, the former CCPO-CIB chief. They were armed with 12 search warrants, but when they got into the compound, the place appeared to have been hastily abandoned.
Police, however, recovered around P4 million worth of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride).
Santander, in past interviews, had claimed there could be a traitor among his police operatives who had tipped off Jaguar prior to the raid.
His request for an investigation was forwarded to the Regional Investigation and Detection Management Branch (RIDMB) of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas but no police officer was ever named.
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