Loot tells Duterte: Before naming us, know we have families too
Retired Chief Supt. Vicente Loot has one message to President Rodrigo Duterte, after being tagged as one of the five police generals who were alleged coddlers of drug lords.
In an interview before reporting to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Loot, who is now mayor of Daanbantayan in Cebu, on Friday said the President should have considered that he and his coaccused generals have families, too, before naming them in public.
“Kami na sana ‘yung katapusan at sana lang po ay kung mayroon lang pong idamay niya o idawit ulit sa ganitong akusasyon ay sana naman maisip din ni Presidente na bago po niya husgahan o bago niya ilabas, isipin niya na mayroon po siya … Kagaya niya na may pamilya, may pamilya din po kami. Kami’y may pamilya rin, at sana’y kami na ang katapusan,” Loot said over Radyo Inquirer 990AM, when asked what he wanted to tell Duterte.
Loot on Thursday said his “world fell apart” upon being informed that no less than the President himself identified him as an alleged protector of drug lords.
Citing his accomplishments when he served as Cebu regional director of the antinarcotics group in 2000 and 2001, Loot maintained that he had no association with any drug cartel.
But Loot added that he was “very close” to his mentor and coaccused, retired PNP Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo, who Duterte identified as an alleged associate of drug lord Peter Lim alias Jaguar.
“Rinig ko na si General Garbo ang medyo napag-initan. Very close po kasi kami ni General Garbo. Very close kami niyan, mentor ko ‘yan. Sa Cebu, nag-sama po kami,” he said.
Loot also reiterated that he accumulated his wealth legally, explaining that his assets grew mainly because of the assets of his wife Maria Luisa, who also served as Daanbantayan mayor, and not from his job as police officer.
“Hindi mo naman siguro idedeklara ‘yan kung hindi legal ‘yan. Anyway, para maliwanag po sa lahat, bago ko napangasawa ‘yung misis ko, pag-pasok ko niyan ng politika, 1992, mayaman na po siya. Nag-declare siya ng asset na 82 million. That was 1992. Kinasal po kami 1991 eh,” Loot said.
“At yung dala ko lang po nung kinasal po kami, isang kaladkaran na kotse tsaka ‘yung damit ko lang po. And, kung ano po ‘yung additional na-acquire namin after 1992, ‘yan po ay bunga ng kaniyang 82 million na asset. Hindi ho galing sa suweldo ko,” he added.
Loot was one of the richest officers of the PNP with a net worth of more than P100 million. His family also owned 18 houses mostly in Mandaue City, Cebu, which he had rented out, a cockpit arena and five luxury vehicles.
Bringing with him his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN), Loot flew to Manila on Thursday to submit himself to Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa, but he said they were not able to meet.
“Hindi pa kami nagkakausap, kasi every time na tumatawag ako, nasa meeting, nasa conference, may schedule. Pina-schedule niya ako sa Monday ulit pero depende ho kung ano ang kalalabasan nitong aming lakad ngayon (sa DILG),” he said. With Jaehwa Bernardo, trainee
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