‘I will prove I’m no drug protector’

DAANBANTAYAN Mayor Vicente Loot yesterday appealed to the Cebuanos for understanding and asked them not to judge him following President Rodrigo Duterte’s allegation.

Loot said he is confident that he will be able to clear his name and prove that he never protected drug personalities.

“I served the Filipinos for 37 years as a military officer and police officer. I felt sad that these false and malicious allegations happened. But I am confident the truth will come out,” said Loot, who was chief superintendent of the Philippine National Police (PNP) when he retired in July last year.

In a speech last Tuesday, President Duterte named Loot, retired PNP general Marcelo Garbo Jr., Chief Supt. Joel Pagdilao, Chief Supt. Edgardo Tinio, and Chief Supt. Bernardo Diaz as “drug protectors.”

In an interview yesterday, Loot reiterated that he has been a victim of political black propaganda since his wife joined politics in the 1990s, and when he ran and won as mayor of his town last May 9.

He said that even the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), through a certain Attorney Allan Contado, conducted a lifestyle check on him and his family and filed charges for having ill-gotten wealth before the Office of the Ombudsman.

However, the case the NBI filed against him was dismissed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales in a resolution dated Feb. 6, 2015, Loot said, because the NBI failed to substantiate the allegation.

Loot confirmed that their family assets amount to about P100 million, and these were acquired long before he became a general.

He said that everything has been disclosed in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs), a copy of which is with the Office of the Ombudsman.

Real properties make up the bulk of their assets, which include 18 townhouses that are being leased.

He said some of the real properties were acquired through bank loans.

Some of their real properties were acquired in the 1980s when properties in Mandaue City were still cheap, but they are now worth millions of pesos because the value appreciated over the years, Loot said.

The newly elected mayor also said that they have five vehicles, not seven as earlier reported, and that their SALN would show that they can afford it.

He also confirmed that his wife, former Daanbantayan mayor Malou Judal Loot, bought the Gallera de Mandaue cockpit in Mandaue City with the help of the father of her son, Provincial Board Member Sun Shimura.

Like their other real properties, Loot said the cockpit was still cheap at the time that Malou bought it, “but it’s now worth millions of pesos.”

Aside from the rentals and the cockpit, he said that Malou also earns from her other businesses.

“My wife is business-minded that she was able to upgrade the Municipality of Daanbantayan from a fifth-class to first-class town during her time as mayor,” Loot said.
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