SAYING the issue has offended his family, former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama will file complaints against those who issued statements that he is a drug addict.
In his speech during the oath-taking ceremony of the elected city officials under Team Rama, the former mayor asked his allies, particularly those in the legal profession including his son, lawyer Mikel Rama to check those who accused him of being into illegal drugs.
Rama will file charges of libel against them.
“Because yesterday (Thursday), I was elected and in a few hours, I will no longer be elected. Then, I will look for them, those who accused me of being an addict. To my supporters who are willing to execute affidavits, I will file a case of libel,” he said.
In an interview after the ceremony, Rama said he has to make the legal move because his family was already hurt by the allegations.
“My family has been hurt, wounded and my relatives in America has been telling me why I am not making an issue about it. Wala gyud ko magtuo hasta akong mga paryente, wala magtuo nga mamahimo kong (I and my relatives don’t think that I will be an) addict after 24 years of serving the public,” he said.
He said a pool of private lawyers will help him in preparing the complaint.
Even before the May 9 election, the issue that Rama is a drug addict circulated and reports that he has been cuddling alleged top drug personalities like Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz already surfaced.
“They have caused a smeared reputation to us and definitely affected many of my supporters. And that’s why I will make it a message to them, better be watchful because we cannot just allow them to continuously do a wrongful thing and that a wrongful thing has to be answered,” Rama warned.
As this develops, Rama also reminded Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella not to forget the controversy on the Dodge cars that Mayor Tomas Osmeña is facing.
The mayor was accused of not turning over the high-end cars, which was donated to the City Government.
“Edgar, remember Dodge,” Rama said.
In a separate interview, Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera said evidences such as screen shots of the messages posted on social media, saying he is a drug addict.
She said even those using pseudonyms and fake accounts were already identified for the filing of charges.
Pesquera said there are even known personalities who will be part of the named respondents of the case, but she refused to disclose their names.
“In reality, the mayor is not vindictive. He doesn’t run after those people who had done him wrong, but this time he is convinced. Many of us are convinced that he should file an action against those who humiliate him in the newspaper and social media,” she said.
When asked to explain, Labella who is also a lawyer said one can be charged with libel when there is malicious imputation or there is an intention to malign the reputation of a person and it was made public through publication, quoting the Revised Penal Code.
During the campaign period, posters with prints that Rama is into drugs circulated in some parts of the city.