MANILA – The Malacañang has denied President Rodrigo Duterte’s involvement in the ambush of former mayor Vicente Loot of Daanbantayan, Cebu last year.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Wednesday that the President has just misspoken his Tagalog language during his speech when he said “Inambush kita, animal ka, buhay pa rin.”
“What the President intended to say was: ‘Inambush ka na, buhay ka pa,” Panelo said. “The President had just misspoken the Tagalog language since he is from Mindanao. Let us be clear and categorical: The President did not order the Loot’s ambush.”
Panelo added that it would be “silly and absurd” to say that Duterte was behind the attack on Loot “just because he misspeaks the Pilipino language, which is not his native tongue or first language.”
“The Filipino nation by this time is already familiar and used to the language of the President who invariably uses a mixture of English, Bisaya (Cebuano dialect) and Pilipino in communicating with the nation,” he said.
President Duterte said the other night that he has ordered the ambush of Loot, a former police general who Duterte named as a protector of drug rings. He survived the May 2018 attack that left 4 others injured.
President Duterte’s latest remark on the ambush was different from his pronouncement in Davao City on December 18 when he denied any role in the incident and has accused former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II of ordering the hit.
Loot, who is also a former police official close to then Secretary Roxas when he was still in active duty, was repeatedly tagged by President Duterte of being involved in illegal drugs. Loot has denied Duterte’s allegations/PN