MANILA – A Cebu mayor President Rodrigo Duterte tagged as a police general involved in the illegal drug trade was ambushed in his town on Sunday.
Former police chief superintendent and now Mayor Vicente Loot was unhurt when their group was attacked at around 7:30 a.m. in Barangay Maya, Daanbantayan.
Reports had it that Loot was the target but survived. His driver sustained a gunshot wound and was quickly rushed to a nearby hospital.
In a radio interview, Loot said he has received an “intelligence report” about a planned ambush of someone linked to the illegal drug trade but had no idea that it was him.
“May natanggap tayong intelligence report na may titirahin pero hindi ko alam na ako,” Loot told dzMM. “Hindi siguro ito pulitika dahil wala naman tayong kalaban sa pulitika.”
In a speech in July 2016 Duterte named six police generals – including Loot – as one of the government officials linked to drugs, based on law enforcement information.
“Kagaya nitong si Loot. Sa Region 1 nandiyan ang pangalan niya, ganoon din sa Regions 2, 3 at 4. What does that mean? Whenever he was assigned he was into drugs,” Duterte said then.
Others Duterte named were former Police Regional Office 6 director Bernardo Diaz, former Quezon City Police District director Edgardo Tinio, former National Capital Region Police Office head Joel Pagdilao, and retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo Jr.
Loot denied any link to illegal drugs. He said he was never assigned to Regions 1, 2, 3, and 4 or to “any juicy position or command that deals with antidrug operations.”/PN