Cebu News

Unless caught red-handed: No case vs Rama, 2 others - Duterte

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Former Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, who was tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte as a drug protector, can now heave a sigh of relief, albeit temporarily, after the president assured that no case will be filed against him.

"It's good enough that he said there's no case," Rama told The FREEMAN.

Rama, who tried but failed to seek an audience with the president yesterday, said he will not stop in his effort to meet the chief executive, so he can clear his name.

Duterte, who was here in Cebu yesterday for the ground-breaking of the province’s third bridge, had earlier named Rama, former police general turned Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot and businessman Peter Lim as prominent personalities involved in illegal drugs.

"I've explained that if it's an instance like unless you are caught in possession of shabu, there's really no case at all," Duterte told reporters in an ambush interview.

Rama said he sought the help of Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino and Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy to meet the president yesterday.

"Sitoy apologized that it would be difficult to set that meeting," Rama said.

He said he was not remiss in finding ways to meet the president yesterday.

Duterte graced yesterday the ground-breaking of the 8.25-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway that would connect the mainland of Cebu City to Mactan Island.

Rama said he wanted to talk to the president so that he can explain his side that he can never be a drug protector.

"Akong gi-connect ni Dino. Wala man siya nitubag," Rama said.

Rama said that during his healing session last Wednesday, he was asked to forgive the people who have wronged him.

"Yes, I forgive them. Christian man ta. We should not be nursing hurts kay padung mana sa atong health," he said.

Asked on his further plans, Rama said he will connect with the people in Malacañang to have an audience with the president.

It was last year when Duterte named Rama as one of the “narco-politicians."

After being mentioned by the president, Rama went to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to clear his name.

He asked PDEA to provide pieces of evidence and documents tagging him as drug protector.

He added that he cannot think of an alleged drug personality that he protected in his stint as the city mayor for six years.

Last week, Duterte again named Rama as a drug protector, but referred him as governor of Cebu Province. — Jean Marvette A. Demecillo and Dale G. Israel (FREEMAN)

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