PNP provides additional security for Loot
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has given Daanbantayan, Cebu mayor Vicente Loot and his family additional police protection after the local official survived a shooting attack at a busy port the weekend before the election.
On Wednesday, PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde gave assurances of additional security from the police, even as Loot has said earlier that he believes police operatives acting as “bounty hunters” were after him.
Loot was among the former police generals linked by President Rodrigo Duterte to the narcotics trade.
In an interview with the nedia, Albayalde said the attempt on Loot’s life is now being fully investigated by the police. He is encouraging Loot to talk to investigators if he has any idea on who could have possibly staged the ambush.
Albayalde said Loot’s suspicion that he was being targeted by active police personnel was already being investigated. He added that they were also looking into “personal grudge and politics” as among the possible motives, although the shooting incident was not considered election-related.
Earlier, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. John Bulalacao denied Loot’s allegations that the alleged “bounty hunters” after him were police officers.
“We do not believe anyone from the PNP can do that….we would not be able to do that against one of our own,” Bulalacao said. Nevertheless, he said “heads will roll” if they determine that anyone from the PNP is involved.
Albayalde encouraged politicians whose names were included in the “narcolist” to submit themselves for “validation” and “adjudication.”
“Other politicians have presented themselves voluntarily for adjudication, and some have cleared their names…If they have fears, we can provide police security,” the PNP chief reiterated.
Meanwhile, Albayalde said the police will continue to conduct “case-building” against barangay election winners who were earlier included in the “narcolist” released by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
“We will validate [the allegations] before their terms end, but we will give them due process,” Albayalde said. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.