In this July 2016 file photo, Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot, one of the five ‘narco generals’ tagged by the president, arriving for a press conference at Camp Crame.
The STAR/Boy Santos
Cebu town mayor survives ambush
( - May 13, 2018 - 10:48am

MANILA, Philippines — Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente “Vic” Loot on Sunday survived an ambush in Maya Port, northern Cebu, according to The Freeman.

Loot's two drivers and a househelp were injured in the attack and were brought to the nearest hospital.

Loot's family was not harmed in the shooting incident.

“It’s okay if it’s just me but my grandchildren were there. They are traumatized,” Loot was quoted by The Freeman as saying in mixed Cebuano and English.

Loot's family came from Malapascua island when five gunmen aboard a white van attacked their cars while they were getting off a RORO ship.

He said three of the gunmen used M16 rifles during the attack. The men were wearing bonnets.

Loot said he “has no idea on the motive behind the ambush but believes it to be politics.”

Due to the incident, Loot is calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to provide him security. He also urged the public to report sightings of the gunmen's vehicle.

Provincial Election Supervisor Lionel Castillano said it is too late to list Daanbantayan as an election watchlist area, which are subject to closer police monitoring against election violence. 

Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections would push through despite the shooting incident.

In July 2016, Loot was among the five Philippine National Police senior officers whom Duterte publicly named as being allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade. The naming of the “narco-generals” was done in a speech during the 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force.

READ: Duterte names 5 PNP generals allegedly involved in illegal drugs

Loot, a retired police general, denied the president’s claims and said in a televised interview on ANC that he is a "perennial victim of black propaganda in Cebu” since his wife is among the rich local politicians in the province. He said he has a clear conscience.

“I hope I will be given the chance nga atubangon ang nag-accuse nako (I hope I will be given the chance to face those who accused me). Coming from the president, it's something I will have to take very, very seriously,” Loot said in another interview with The Freeman.

“I have an accountability to every Cebuano nga nakaila nako (kilala ako),” he added.

The National Police Commission did not file any formal charges against Loot as it said it has no jurisdiction over the retired police official. —Rosette Adel with reports from The Freeman

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