Cebu News

Tomas dares Rama: Let’s take lie test

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has dared former mayor Michael Rama to undergo a lie detector test together with him so that the people will know who is telling the truth about who is accepting drug money.

Rama declined the challenge.In his official Facebook account, Osmeña challenged Rama, who was named together with 158 other officials as alleged “narco politicians” recently by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“I am publicly challenging Mr. Michael Rama to a lie detector test. He said the truth will set him free? Let's see about that,” his post read.

Osmeña said Rama’s camp accused him of having connections with slain drug personality Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz who was killed in a shootout in Las Piñas City.

“After Jaguar was killed, Mr. Rama's allies accused me of having Jaguar liquidated to cover up his dealings with me. After the President himself named Mr. Rama as a drug protector, they repeated the same thing in his defense. Well, who let Jaguar prosper the six years he was mayor?” Osmeña said.

“In the interest of transparency, I am willing to sacrifice my civil liberties and will submit to the test at the same time as him. I challenge Supt. Romeo Santander, Mr. Rama's alleged bagman who I alluded to in my most recent presscon, to submit to same the test (sic) as well,” he added.

Osmeña said the lie detector test should be broadcast live on the Internet. He said the National Bureau of Investigation or any national agency that is capable of doing the test should administer it.

He said they will be answering two questions: “1. Did you solicit money from Jaguar or any drug lord? 2. Did you accept money from Jaguar or any drug lord?”

“If his conscience is clear, like mine is, he will not hesitate. The Cebuanos have a right to know. I am returning on August 14 and am willing to take the test as soon as I land. Mr. Rama, you said the truth will set you free. I think it's quite the opposite. Try and prove me wrong,” Osmeña said.

“If the President wants to pick the administering agency, that's fine with me. I have nothing to hide. Do they?” he added.

Sought for comment, Rama said he does not understand why it should be done.

“Wala g’yud ko kasabot nganong naabot na. Nganong kami ma’ng duha? Apil siya? Unsa may kahadlokan nato ana’ng lie? I have never been into lying,” he said.

“So wala ta ana. Dili ta mahadlok ana,” he told reporters.

Clearing his name

Rama said he went to central office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Monday morning to clear his name and met with PDEA Director General Isidro Lapeña for over an hour.

“I was of the view and I was of the expectation that I would be seeing documents that had put me in the list but unfortunately and understandably, it can be said that he (Lapeña) is just newly installed. So I ended up just tit for tat,” Rama said.

He told PDEA officials that he is not involved in the drug trade.

“I highlighted ‘how can I be a drug protector? Who is the drug lord?’ Of course they cannot give me the name. How can they even give the name they don't even have the document?” Rama said.

Rama said he has done his share to clear his name.

“I was not expecting any outcome because as a lawyer until you are being sued that's the only time you will be answering. But until they will be clearing, that's the time we will have a relief,” he added.

On the reported inconsistencies of the list presented by the president, Rama said he will not add to it anymore.

“Mao bitaw na nga dungog sa Siyudad sa Sugbu, pagkadungoga nga dili ako. Pero pagbasa, ako. Kana sad nakapahinganga,” he said.

“Mao bitaw niingon ko kun nahimo kong protector, kinsa man sad akong giprotektahan? Katong mga nangamatay aron dili kasulti sa tinuod?” he added.

Rama said “caution and circumspection” should be taken into consideration before revealing names of alleged drug protectors because it ruins their reputation.

“The only thing that has to be taken with caution and circumspection is I wish rule of engagement will be emphasized and if names like me because right now, opponents are happy kay dili man sila ang hingtungdan. Kamo ba ang hingtungdan nga patay na walo katuig unya gibalik?” he said.

Rama said he was happy after the Supreme Court through Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno issued a statement against the naming of narco politicians that included seven judges.

When asked about his next step, Rama said he will meet his family after meeting with his Team Rama allies.

Different speeches

Councilors Eduardo “Edu” Rama and Sisinio Andales both delivered speeches relative to the revelation of the 159 officials and former officials who are “narco politicians” during the council’s regular session yesterday. Each had a different take on the developments.

It was Councilor Rama who first delivered privilege speech, saying the accusation against his uncle has affected the Rama Family.

“I have no doubts that the list is tainted and, above all, politically motivated. I believe some people moved heaven and earth to put his name on that list, people who have been trying to discredit him for years,” he said.

Councilor Rama said there are a lot of inconsistencies in the list presented by the president, including the deceased judges and ‘mistaken’ identities of some mentioned names, which is enough basis to question the validity of the document.

“Today, we may have lost the honor of our name, but this will assure the people of Cebu City, we will wake up each day to live, fight, and survive another day with our hearts hurting but our heads up and our will strong,” he said.

In a separate speech, Andales said former mayor Rama should issue a denial right away.

“Still, we cannot just dismiss an allegation by the president himself because of a denial. President Duterte himself named former mayor Rama,” he said.

Andales said he is not privy to the bases for including the former mayor in the list, but, he presented information which he claimed might have been the reason for the inclusion of former mayor on the list.

“While still a vice mayor of Cebu City, Mike Rama used to play basketball with jail personnel and inmates at Kalunasan and has befriended an inmate, allegedly a certain drug lord named Crisostomo Llaguno, known as ‘Tata Negro’,” he said.

Andales also cited other instances regarding the alleged involvement of Rama with other drug personalities like Diaz.

“During the watch of Mayor Rama, the only major operation against Jaguar was a failed raid conducted by Santander, who is also named a drug lord protector by President Rody Duterte,” Andales said.

Andales said the “rise of illegal drugs” was the reason why the city had a high crime rate during the term of Rama.

“If this allegation of drug protection against former mayor Mike Rama is true, it would explain why the past six years were the heydays of Cebu-based drug syndicates,” he said. (FREEMAN)

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