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Saturday, July 31, 2021

‘Jaguar’ offered money; I said no’

A DAY after his funeral, the man who was allegedly the top drug lord in Central Visayas was accused of trying to help finance local politicians.

Naa sila nagsulti, Tinuod ba nga ni-support si Jaguar sa BOPK? (Someone asked, ‘Is it true that Jaguar supported BOPK?),” Mayor-elect Tomas Osmeña said yesterday, in a speech delivered to mark his oath-taking.

Ang akong tubag ni-ana, tinuod gyud. (My answer to that is, it’s true). It doesn’t matter,” he added.

He was referring to Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz, who was killed in a shootout with Central Visayas police last June 27 in Las Piñas, and whose funeral last Monday drew a crowd of about 2,500.

In a press conference before the oath-taking ceremony, the mayor-elect divulged that Jaguar’s camp had offered to finance his mayoral bid.

“Yeah, I’ll tell you something. He even offered me money and I said no, just like I said no to SM, Ayala and Filinvest, but they still offered to help me. Like the words I told Ayala, ‘You can’t buy my friendship’.”

(Osmeña has questioned the City Government’s decision last year to sell about 45 hectares in the South Road Properties to Filinvest, as well as the Ayala-SM consortium. He also mentioned this again in his speech yesterday.)

Kana si Jaguar, SM, Ayala ug Filinvest, they have something in common. Usa ra ilang ginoo: kwarta (Jaguar, SM, Ayala and Filinvest, they all have one god: money) Who is going to look out for you? We are going to look out for you,” the mayor-elect said during his speech.

In the press conference, Osmeña commented: “Somebody was trying to get more money from him but he didn’t like it. Then there was a raid on his place the following day, he sent me money but I said sorry, I’m not like that.”

Osmeña said, though, that he never met Jaguar and that the offer was made through other persons.

“I’m glad he’s no longer a drug lord. Nobody is glad he’s dead and I don’t believe in the claims that he was about to give up his business. No way!”

As for insinuations that he was the one protecting Jaguar, Osmeña said this could not be the case.

“All the barangay officials of his barangay are identified with (outgoing mayor) Mike Rama, (so) who is protecting whom? The mayor was Mike Rama, all the barangay captain are allies of Mike Rama, even the police chief was selected by Mike Rama. Who was the mayor for five years? Who was the barangay captain? So, how can I possibly protect him?” he said.

The incoming mayor also said he understands the sympathy that hundreds of residents of Duljo showed for Jaguar and his family, and the large crowd that joined his funeral last Monday.

When sought for comment about the mayor-elect’s statements, incoming City Councilor Joel Garganera of Team Rama said the mayor’s statements contradicted his accusations against Rama.

“Tomas had long been accusing Mike Rama of coddling Jaguar. But here he is, admitting it publicly, that Jaguar had been supporting BOPK and Tomas says it doesn’t matter? So if a drug lord supports BOPK, OK ra? How can he reconcile his admission of Jaguar supporting BOPK and his accusation against Mike?” said Garganera.

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