CEBU City Mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña said he will give P155,000 as a reward to the police units that killed three persons allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade, including the third most wanted drug personality in the city.
This will be the third time Osmeña will reward the police, barely three weeks since he won in the May 9 elections.
The Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group (RAIDSOTG 7), the intelligence branch of the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO), and the Regional Public Safety Batallion (RPSB) 7 raided Banacon Island in Getafe, Bohol last Saturday and killed Rowen “Yawa” Torrefiel Secretaria and two of his alleged cohorts in a shootout.
Secretaria was said to have been supplying drugs in Barangay Ermita and Barangay Pasil in Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova and could dispose of five kilos of shabu per week.
Secretaria reportedly has a residence not only in Banacon but in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City as well.
“Gusto nako ipakita sa mga badlungon ba kung bisan bodyguard lang ka sa drug lord, ang bounty parehas ra basta involved ka sa droga (I want to show scoundrels that even for bodyguards of drug lords, I will give the same bounty),” said Osmeña.
For every individual involved in the illegal drug trade who gets killed, Osmeña has promised to give P50,000. Since there were three who died in Saturday dawn’s operation, Osmeña is giving the police units involved a total of P150,000.
The remaining P5,000 he is giving to the police is for the other alleged cohort of Secretaria, 26-year-old Ricardo Ostalano, who got wounded.
“Mahurot na akong kwarta ani (I’m going to lose all my money),” joked Osmeña.
“Sige na lang. Basta anything for Cebu City. Basta for kalinaw (That’s OK. Anything for Cebu City and for peace),” he added.
Osmeña was mum when asked where he gets the money for the rewards. He also wouldn’t say if he gets support from some business owners.
“Basta. I don’t use government funds. Mohatag ko ug assurance nga way labot ang gobyerno aning kwarta (I assure you that I am not using government funds for this),” he said.
Osmeña plans to call the concerned police units today to turn over their reward.
Last week, Osmeña handed P50,000 to the Cebu City Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group for killing a suspected drug pusher in Barangay Sudlon II.
Prior to that, he gave a P20,000 reward to PO3 Julius Regis for shooting a robbery suspect.
After that operation that ended in Secretaria’s death in Bohol, the RAIDSOTG 7 said it is ready for more raids.
“Naa ta’y gi-build up nga daghang operations sa whole Central Visayas (We have many operations that we’ve been building up in the whole Central Visayas),” Senior Insp. Hendrix Bancoleta said in a phone interview with Sun.Star Cebu.
Secretaria was a level one drug pusher (not level three as previously reported) who led the “Yawa Drugs Group” and sourced his drugs from Manila and parts of Mindanao, the officer said.
His operations reached Cordova, Lapu-Lapu, Ermita and Pasil, all in Cebu, and he was one of the biggest suppliers in the region, he added.
These places have fish ports where cargo and passengers can pass through.
Bancoleta said that government officials in the island may have sensed Secretaria’s presence but did nothing because of fear.
He added that the numerous pumpboats marked “Rowen” that were docked at the small port near Secretaria’s house may have been used to deliver drugs to nearby islets.
During Oplan Dark World, police operatives were at a disadvantage because Secretaria’s men started firing at them from the port, while law enforcers were still on a boat.
Some residents of Banacon allegedly received solar electricity, generators and sacks of rice from Secretaria. He was also a regular sponsor during fiestas.
Intelligence operatives said they are now looking into at least three other operations that they hope will corner other big-time illegal drug personalities.