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Monday, February 18, 2019

Nalzaro: Is Mike a drug coddler?

CONFUSION was written all over the face of former Cebu City mayor Mike Rama as to what hit him recently. Barely recovering from his suspension and defeat in last May’s elections, agony, misery and calvary continue to hound him. This, after he was named by President Rodrigo Duterte as one of the incumbent and former elective officials involved in the illegal drug trade either as drug lords or protectors. Mike was classified as a “protector.” Morag wala man ni hunong ang “kalbaryo” nga gi-atubang karon sa kanhi mayor. Morag nahugno ang kalibutan ug mitabon kaniya. Mike’s name was one of those mentioned by Duterte when the chief executive spoke before members of the Philippine Navy in Davao City last Saturday night.

Duterte named those members of the judiciary, Philippine National Police (PNP) and local officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade and ordered them to submit themselves to their respective “mother units” to clear their names within 24 hours or else face the consequences. Judges should report to the Supreme Court, elective officials to the Department of Interior and Local Government and police officers and non-commissioned officers should turn themselves over to their immediate superiors with their firearms because if they don’t, he will order the military to hunt them down.

Among the Cebu politicians named together with Mike was only newly elected Vice Mayor Fralz Sabalones of San Fernando and Daanbantayan Mayor Vic Loot, who was classified under the PNP list. Policemen mentioned were Supt. Romeo Santander, former head of the Criminal Intelligence Branch (CIB) of the Cebu City Police Office; PO2 Michael Cortez of Barili; SPO1 Jen Dela Victoria of Cebu City; SPO2 Onel Nabua of Barili; PO2 Jomar Ybañez of Lapu-Lapu City Police Office; PO3 Ryan Martus Kyamko of Cebu; JO1 (Jail Officer 1) Allan Coca Manatad of Region 7; and SPO3 Cristy Cielo Tinag of Region 7.

Except for Rama, Loot and Santander, I don’t know the other personalities mentioned by the President. I just received some information regarding the other personalities yesterday after their names were mentioned like Sabalones, whose brother Franz is the one allegedly involved in drugs. PO3 Kymko is a Swat member of the Cebu Provincial Police Office and who owns several townhouses in Pooc, Talisay City and luxury cars. PO2 Cortez is reportedly frequently seen in cockfights betting thousand of pesos. Nabua has already retired. Santander was just promoted to the rank superintendent. I personally know Bong, Santander’s nickname, as a soft-spoken and a dedicated officer. I don’t why he was tagged as a drug protector. Loot was already mentioned as one of those PNP generals allegedly protecting drug lords together with another retired general, Marcelo Garbo, and three others who are still active in the service.

Now, what about Rama? Would you believe that he is a coddler of drug personalities? This has been an old issue that Mike is a drug protector and, worse, a drug addict because he refused to undergo a drug test and because of his physical outlook. Nagpa-slim man god pag-ayo si Mike unya kasagaran sa mga adik, slim man. Pero ingon siya nga naa siyay diabetes. Ako lagi medyo taas mang sugar, nanambok man hinoon. Anyway, Mike was tagged as a drug protector because he was a basketball playmate of the late drug personality Tata Negro and a campaign funds “benefactor” of the late Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz, a known top drug lord in Region 7.

However, Rama denied the allegations. He said, “Who am I to protect drug lords? I didn’t even have much control of the chief of police and the regional director when I was mayor.” He said he will present himself for investigation to prove that he was never a drug coddler. He will not “surrender” because he did not commit a crime but make himself available if there are investigations to be conducted to clear his name and his family.

I don’t want to question the intelligence report that was fed to the President. But how sure is he about the report he gathered even if he claimed this had been validated and re-validated and is accurate? The chief executive said he is responsible for it because he was the one who read the list but said he “could be wrong.” So meaning, he is not sure.

Take this as an example that Duterte might be wrong. An alleged drug coddler in Iloilo City, Jeffrey Celiz, was named as a party-list representative in Panay but he was never a congressman. He was reportedly a former chairman and spokesman of a militant organization and later become an executive assistant of Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog, who was also named as a drug coddler by Duterte. Sayop na. Calbayog City, Samar Regional Trial Court Branch 32 Judge Roberto Navidad, who was also named by the President as a drug protector, reportedly died eight years ago.

And according to his relatives, the judge was assassinated because he convicted several personalities who were into drugs. Meaning, he was a drug crusader. Mas labaw’ng sayop. Nganong naapil god tawon nang dugay nang patay. Pagkatoytoy!

(bobby@sunstar.com.ph)
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