A YOUNGER brother of the mayor of Catmon and a self-confessed pusher who worked with the late Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz surrendered yesterday to the police in Catmon and Cebu City, respectively.
They were joined by at least 245 other persons who turned up to sign affidavits that they would no longer use or sell illegal drugs.
Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested 10 persons during an anti-drug raid in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City.
But the man they were after, alleged drug pusher Mariano Casas, escaped.
Casas surrendered instead to Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, just in time for the visit of Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, who now heads the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7.
Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Benjamin Santos was also present when Casas surrendered to the mayor.
“Mo-surrender man gyud ko, Sir, pero nabahaan man gud amoa mao to nga nalangay akong pag-surrender (I was planning to surrender, Sir, but had to deal with the damage to my house after a flood, so my surrender got delayed),” Casas told Osmeña and the police officials.
He was accompanied by former Mabolo barangay councilman Mark Jones dela Cruz, whose help he and his family had sought.
“Nakuyawan ko kay gi-raid ko pero ginagmay ra man gyud akong baligya, gusto lang ko nga mag bag-o na (I got frightened after the authorities tried to raid my house. I sold only small amounts. I want to change now),” Casas said.
Santos asked Police Station 4 in Mabolo to process his case.
Meanwhile, a younger brother of Catmon Mayor Dan Jusay surrendered to the police and promised he will not sell illegal drugs.
Senior Insp. Roberto Hugo, Catmon police chief, said Jusay’s brother was a level three drug pusher who could dispose of less than 50 grams of shabu per week. He was also second on the list of the top 10 most wanted drug personalities in the northern town.
But Hugo refused to give the younger Jusay’s name, saying the latter has no pending cases.
Jusay’s brother surrendered alone around 2 p.m. last Saturday. He was not detained.
“Ilado na ni siya. Maglisod mig kuha, idlas gyod ba (We knew about him but he was always elusive),” said Hugo in a phone interview.
Since he began serving as the town police chief in February last year, Hugo said, his operatives have tried to arrest Jusay’s brother at least 10 times.
They failed because the suspect would not deal with strangers.
“Mamaligya ra ni siya sa suki na gyod niya (He only sold shabu to his regular customers),” said Hugo.
Jusay’s brother, who reportedly started as a junkie until he became a drug pusher two years ago, also raises gamecocks in a farm. The suspect allegedly employed shabu runners, locally known as parok, to distribute his contraband.
The police have caught several of his underlings.
Interviewed separately, Mayor Jusay said that once he found out his brother was on the watch list, he persuaded him to report to the police and clear his name.
When the mayor asked his younger brother, the latter denied any involvement in illegal drugs. Jusay said he had no way of verifying this, since they don’t live together.
“Gani ako man ang nag-gasto sa iyang tanan anak (I support all of his children financially),” the mayor said.
Hugo said that 96 users and pushers surrendered to them since last Saturday until yesterday, but no one was detained.
They were made to sign an affidavit, which contains a promise that they will not use or sell illegal drugs again.
The documents had no legal bearing as of yesterday because these were not yet attested to by a lawyer.
Also yesterday, 25 suspected users and pushers surrendered to the Consolacion Police Station. Four other junkies surrendered, meanwhile, to the Toledo City Police Station.
Among those who surrendered in Cebu City’s Guadalupe Police Station yesterday was a man who claimed he had worked for Jaguar for eight years.
Thirty-five other users and pushers surrendered, too.
In the police stations of Pardo and Waterfront, 86 users and pushers also submitted themselves to authorities after Oplan Tokhang.
Dan (real name withheld) said he was Diaz’s peddler for eight years, during which he religiously remitted sales to the man who was allegedly Cebu’s biggest drug lord.
“Kay kung di ka mobayad, patay man gud. Mao na’y hustisya ni Jaguar (If you didn’t pay, you’d get killed. That was Jaguar’s brand of justice),” he said.
He said the biggest amount he ever remitted to Diaz’s men was P500,000 in a month from his area of operation in Barangay Duljo-Fatima.
When asked if he saw Diaz in person, Dan said he was not allowed to go inside the compound and only the alleged drug lord’s men dealt with him.
“Mang-agkat rako para akong ma-repack niya makatinda ko (I bought shabu from them so that I could repack and sell it afterwards),” he said.
During the rare times that he heard the drug lord’s voice, it was through a cellphone when Diaz reminded them, the peddlers, to be careful.
“Pag-amping mo, pagtigom mo para sa inyong pamilya (You take care of yourselves and save money for your family’s sake),” Dan quoted Diaz.
He said he surrendered because he was worried about what his child would think of him.
Although he was thankful that selling drugs pulled his family out of poverty, Dan said he also felt guilty for all the lives that were destroyed.
He built an internet shop and a sari-sari store from his drug proceeds.
Like the surrenderees from other barangays, Dan said he was convinced by President Rodrigo Duterte’s intense campaign against drugs.
But Dan also said that Diaz had given up on the business last March 2015.
“Sa panahon nga niundang si Jaguar, iyahay na mi’g undang ug iyahay na mi’g panginabuhi nga tarong. Tinuod nga moundang na gud si Jaguar diha man koy nadunggan sa iyang mga tawo nga ‘Undang na si Manoy dili nata kakuha kay mopahuway na siya’ (By the time Jaguar stopped, we also stopped our illegal operations and focused on a more proper livelihood. I heard from his men that ‘Manoy already stopped, so we cannot get our stash anymore because he will now rest’),” he said.
Dan also denied knowing Alvaro “Barok” Alvaro, Diaz’s close associate who surrendered to the NBI.
In the Pardo Police Station, 74 users and pushers boarded a bus provided by the barangay to assist them in a mass surrender after Oplan Tokhang.
The Waterfront Police Station also served a warrant against Johnny Abella, 33, who went into hiding for nine years after being charged with the possession and sale of illegal drugs.
Twelve other users and pushers also surrendered to the station.