CEBU

NBI 7 ‘shies away’ from Loot case

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is not the right agency to clear former Daanbantayan mayor Vicente Loot of allegations on illegal drug activities.

This is according to NBI 7 Director Tomas Enrile.

“We need the collaboration of all the other agencies. If no less than the President of the Philippines is the one accusing him, then maybe he (the President) has other sources of information that we do not have,” Enrile told SunStar Cebu in a phone interview on Sunday, July 21, 2019.

In a letter, dated July 13, addressed to Enrile, Loot said he is willing to be subjected to an independent investigation so he can be cleared of allegations against him.

“Knowing I am innocent of the charges from the very start, I respectfully request (for) an independent investigation (to) be conducted by your office on the matter to establish the truth about the accusations, past and present,” reads a portion of his letter.

Enrile said they immediately forwarded Loot’s letter to their head office in Manila.

“However, until now, we haven’t received any advise from our head office in Manila,” he said.

Enrile said should the NBI consider Loot’s request, they still have to discuss and evaluate the particular angle or issue they can pursue in the investigation.

On July 5, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte named Loot and retired Philippine National Police deputy chief for administration Marcelo Garbo Jr. as “drug protectors.”

Loot has denied any involvement in the illegal drug trade. It was earlier reported that he was in hiding for fear of his life.

In May 2018, Loot and his family survived an ambush by five armed men in the New Maya Port in Daanbantayan.

He also said he is willing to present the investigation report of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 that cleared him of any illegal drug activities.

However, former CIDG 7 head Police Colonel Marlon Tayaba belied reports that his office cleared Loot of involvement in the illegal drug trade.

“We don’t have any decision clearing former mayor Vicente Loot and I will never do that,” Tayaba, who is now the police provincial director of Iloilo, said in Tagalog. (WBS)


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