THE man they called "Jaguar" was the head of a multi-million-peso criminal drug syndicate, Central Visayas Region’s top police official said Sunday.
“We are dismantling whatever structure Jaguar had in his criminal syndicate,” Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas Director Patrocinio Comendador Jr. said, in the aftermath of the alleged drug lord’s death.
The police, he also said, saw a glimpse of how big Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz’s illegal drug operation was during their surveillance work in the National Capital Region (NCR). Police said they were trying to serve an arrest warrant on another suspect, when they spotted Diaz.
“So far, ang atong nakita, nahanaw na sila and we expect nga naa’y mopuli ni Jaguar pero dili in-ana kadako nga multitude pareha niya (So far, we see that drug personalities have fled. We expect that someone will take Jaguar’s place but won’t have as large a reach),” Comendador said in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu.
The police expect that the drug trade will hit an all-time low, adding that drug lords are in too vulnerable a position to conduct large-scale illegal operations.
Comendador said that Diaz had a wide network of connections in Cebu and the neighboring regions.
“We have some names, some properties of his under false names so now we have solid details of his criminal enterprise,” he said.
Interviewed separately, Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III said the alleged drug lord’s death will serve as a warning to other drug lords to stop ruining families and the youth’s future.
Davide, however, said his administration will not give any bounty to the policemen who killed Diaz and his alleged security escort Paul Vincent Morales last Friday night in Las Piñas.
“Lain man ning mo-ingon ta nga nalipay ta nga naa’y namatay (It’s not right to rejoice that someone has been killed). But at least one drug lord is gone,” Davide said.
As for Diaz’s protectors, Comendador said that their intelligence unit is gathering evidence before they can disclose the names.
He also questioned speculations of other government units who have questioned why Diaz was killed only now. Allegations of a rubout also surfaced but Comendador dismissed that, saying the police came prepared.
“They don’t know how big was the effort and sacrifices we made just to locate Jaguar. It was not easy following in his tracks,” he said.
Comendador confirmed there were about 20 men who conducted the operation in cooperation with the Las Piñas Police against Alvaro “Barok” Alvaro, who escaped.
The Regional Intelligence Division (RID) and the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) are open to investigations about the issues that surfaced after the operation, Comendador said.
Comendador explained that in ideal conditions, Diaz could have had more time to draft an affidavit revealing the extent of his operations.
He said that he even warned Jaguar to surrender.
“I asked him to draft an affidavit on his drug trade but he had no plans of surrendering,” Comendador said.
So far, they have not received reports that Diaz’s men will surrender either.
Comendador said the police will have sustained efforts to rid Barangay Duljo Fatima, Cebu City, of drugs before they will conduct an anti-drug symposium similar to the ones they conducted in Banacon Island, Getafe, Bohol.
Three weeks before the Las Piñas operation that killed Diaz, a joint police team from Cebu and Bohol Provinces killed alleged drug lord Rowen “Yawa” Torrefiel and two other men in Torrefiel’s Banacon property.
Police promised they will clean the place of armed men and illegal drugs before they introduce new opportunities for livelihood to the residents.
Supt. Rex Derilo, chief of the RID, said in an earlier interview that the police are closely monitoring Diaz’s men and some of his relatives.
“Naa pa ta’y daghang limpyohonon (We still have many things to clean up),” he said.
In Cebu City, City Director Benjamin Santos said they will closely monitor the drug trade to know whether the supply is stable or not.
He will meet with his officers from different police stations in the city to further intensify their campaign against illegal drugs.
During the interview, Governor Davide pointed out that Diaz’s name had appeared in lists of suspected drug lords according to the Cebu Provincial Anti-Drug Abuse Council (CPADAC), Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
“We support the anti-drug program of the incoming administration. In fact, the Capitol through CPADAC gave P1.6 million to police officers who engaged in operations against illegal drugs and have been successful in their raids, arrest of suspects and confiscation of shabu for the first quarter of this year,” Davide said.
He clarified that the P1.6 million was not a bounty but an incentive for the officers who risked their lives to fight illegal drugs.