RETIRED chief superintendent Vicente Loot has expressed willingness to sign a bank waiver to clear his name, after being accused by President Rodrigo Duterte as a protector of drug syndicates.
Loot, now the mayor of Daanbantayan town in Cebu, showed up Thursday night at the Camp Crame (Quezon City) headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to air his side before the new police chief, Director General Ronaldo “Bato” de la Rosa.
But de la Rosa was in Malacañang to attend a security briefing on the illegal drug problem, so Loot poured his heart out before reporters covering Camp Crame, deploring what he described as an ongoing “trial by publicity” against him and four other police generals linked to drug syndicates.
“Mistula akong tuta na pinakawalan sa gubat at ngayon ay hinahabol ng halimaw at hindi alam kung saan susuling [I’m like a puppy let loose in the woods, being chased by the wolves and with nowhere to hide],” Loot said.
He, however, said he had no right to question the President, but appealed to de la Rosa and Ismael Sueno, the secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, to let him explain before Duterte.
“Sana lang ay huwag nang maulit ang ganitong pangyayari sa iba, na nauna pang ikondena sila ng publiko kaysa hanapan muna sila ng ebidensya at isalang sa paglilitis [I hope this does not happen to others, that they are condemned by the public first before evidence is found and they are brought to court],” Loot added.
Aside from him, President Duterte identified as drug syndicate protectors retired deputy director general Marcelo Garbo Jr.; Director Joel Pagdilao, former chief of the National Capital Regional Police Office; and chief superintendents Edgardo Tinio and Bernardo Diaz.
In a statement on Friday, Sueno vowed to keep an eye on the case of the five police generals, as he ordered the PNP chief to conduct a lifestyle check on the entire police force.
Sueno, who has the power to investigate local government executives, said he met with Loot on Friday morning.
He added that he had instructed his lawyers to build a strong case against Loot.
“I have given instructions to them [lawyers]to gather as much evidence as they could to determine the culpability or innocence of the generals, and if the evidence warrants, to build a solid case against them [generals],” Sueno said.