OUTGOING and suspended Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama denied insinuations that he protected alleged drug lord Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz, that’s why the latter was never arrested while he was mayor.

“Never,” Rama answered when asked about the allegation that he coddled Jaguar, who police alleged was the top drug lord in Central Visayas.

The outgoing mayor recalled that even before, he already ordered the police to arrest Jaguar.

He said he even admonished the police why Jaguar was never apprehended, and asked if there are police and politicians who are protecting him.

“If you remember, I was after his head. Remember I ordered the police to run after Jaguar?” Rama added.

Rama gave the order after the City Intelligence Branch of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) failed to catch Jaguar when they raided his compound in Sitio Santo Niño, Barangay Duljo-Fatima in September last year. Some P4 million worth of suspected shabu were seized in that operation.

When police arrived at the compound, the house was already empty and the subjects of the search warrant were no longer around.

Former CIB Chief Romeo Santader suspected that someone had leaked information on the police operation to Jaguar.

Though he has a standing order to arrest Jaguar, Rama pointed out that he never wanted him killed.

Rama said that if Jaguar were alive, he would have had the chance to reveal the names of all those who protected him, including policemen and politicians.

He added that Jaguar was killed to silence him.

Last Wednesday, incoming mayor Tomas Osmeña admitted that Jaguar offered to finance his mayoral bid but he refused to it, saying that he is not the kind of public servant who will accept money that came from illegal activities.

Osmeña also denied that he protected Jaguar, saying he was not the mayor in the last five years.

He said that all of the barangay officials in Duljo-Fatima are allies of Rama, that is why it is impossible for him to be the one to protect Jaguar.

“All the barangay officials of his barangay are identified with Mike Rama, (so) who is protecting whom? The mayor was Mike Rama, all the barangay captains are allies of Mike Rama, even the police chief was selected by Mike Rama,” he said.

When asked for his comment on Osmeña’s statements, Rama said the incoming mayor should have admitted that Jaguar has been supporting him even before he sought the mayoral seat.

“He (Osmeña) really should decline the offer. But why didn’t he arrest Jaguar supposing that’s already a crime... supposing he (Jaguar) is involved in an illegal activity, then why didn’t he tell the whole truth? Nganong karon pa man siya ni angkon? (Why is he admitting this only now?) He should have said that before. Ang mga tawo di motuo ana oy. Pabilib ra na siya (People will not believe it),” Rama said.

“Now, the truth will come out in due time. Ayaw siya (Osmeña) pahinambuga (he shouldn’t be too confident),” Rama added.