Cebu News

Woman denies taxi driver’s claim over Tocmo’s death

Romeo D. Marantal - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — A woman denied the allegation of a taxi driver who dragged her name on the death of her friend, Reah Mae Tocmo Tocmo, who was killed, stuffed in a cardboard box and dumped on the side of the road in Sitio Mohon 1, Barangay Tisa, Cebu City on July 17, 2023.

Jewel Smith is also determined to file a case against the taxi driver who appeared at a radio station in Cebu City and revealed that on July 17 at 8 o’clock in the morning, three passengers boarded him.

He said that one of them was carrying a large cardboard box and had them dropped at a condominium located at El Salvador Extension, Barangay Labangon, Cebu City.

The taxi driver was shown a picture of Reah Mae with Jewel and he pointed to the latter to be one of the three passengers who boarded him and was the one who brought the cardboard based on the tattoo he saw on the leg.

To clear it out, Jewel, a close friend of Reah Mae, appeared before the reporters.

According to Jewel, on July 17, 2023, Monday, she was in Barangay Looc, Mandaue City where she was renting and her neighbors are witnesses that she did not leave the house.

“Tulog ko pako ana kay duty baya ko pagka Domingo unya wala koy tarong tulog, unsa na baya mi oras mauli pag gikan og trabaho, syempre pahuway gyud ka kay lawas lang inyong capital, pahuway ko tag ala 1 gyud ko tigmata, ala 1, alas 2,” said Jewel.

On the same day when she woke up, she asked if Reah Mae had come home, but she found out that her friend had not returned to their rented room.

Jewel kept calling on the phone of Reah Mae but could not be contacted and she tried to find her in a hang out but still was not there.

Since it's been 24 hours already, Jewel said they went to the barangay hall on Looc with her partner to have it reported.

Jewel said that last time she and Reah Mae were together was on Saturday at 3 p.m., July 15, when they ate street foods under the bridge in Barangay Looc.

After eating, they went home and that was the last time they saw each other and fell asleep since she was sick after she had miscarriage.

Reah Mae was caught on CCTV camera walking away at dawn on Sunday but Jewel said Reah Mae sometimes does not tell her where she goes.

“Dili man siya naga mention og ingon ana, puro yaga-yaga lang, pag kami magkuyog magyagaay mi, gisungog nako siya kay iyang buhok mura kag tiguwang love, wala mi pakialamay man, (suod nga higala) naa man gyud tay part sa atong kuan gyud nga dili nato i-ingon atong mga, limit, kay pangwarta naman nato na,” said Jewel.

Jewel challenged the taxi driver to show the dash cam footage to find out if she was the one riding at that time.

“Unta tay kanang bago ka nag accuse of tao gi-sure sa unta nimo Tay kay kita diri sa kalibutan sa 3 percent naa tay halos kapareha og nawong, unta gi-sure sa nimo kung ako gyud ba unta to, gitan-aw nimo imong dash cam, pwede man nimo ma-review or tan-aw nimo gianggid-anggid gyud nimo sa akong picture, naay CCTV or something gipicturan lang ba nimo kay lisod kaayo ma-accuse nga wala’y sapat nga ebidensiya,” said Jewel.

Jewel said that what the taxi driver did had a big impact on her because she was still grieving over the loss of her baby and her friend and she received death threats and judgments of her identity because of her tattoos.

“Lain kaayo sa akong part ang ingon ana, ako na nitabang, ako na nahasol, ako pay naduot, wala na gani koy katrabaho tungod sa ingon kay gi focus nako ang ingon ana para sa akong barkada unya ako pay ma accuse nga ingon ana tapos ingon pa gyud ka naa pa gyuy mga hulga nga unta mamatay nalang ka, kinsa may ganahan mobasa…Daghan kaayo, pati akong pamilya, daghan kaayo…Depress na kaayo ko kay gasunod-sunod ang pagkawala sa akong kinabuhi ba, akong anak ug akong barkada,” said Jewel.

Jewel and Reah Mae knew each other in Panabo, Davao de Oro until they became close, went to their house, wandered around until they lived there.

Jewel first came to Cebu in the month of April and on June 14, Rhea Mae followed her to venture in Cebu at the same time revealing that Reah Mae knew the work she would be involved in.

Rhea Mae was not able to work immediately for lack of requirements and while the process was going on, she slept at the staff house and went to Jewel's house in the morning.

Reah Mae joined them but because the room could only accommodate two people, she moved to a room that was right next to Jewel's room. — (FREEMAN)

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