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Cebu News

Loot: I’m not leaving the country

Rowena D. Capistrano - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot yesterday maintained he has no immediate plans of leaving the country amid the release of a watchlist order for him and four other police officials earlier tagged by President Duterte as drug protectors.

Loot, who spoke to The FREEMAN over the phone after attending a prayer meeting last night, reiterated his stand to submit himself to any investigation so he could clear his name.

Yesterday, the Bureau of Immigration issued a watchlist order or an immigration lookout bulletin order for Loot, as well as retired general Marcelo Garbo Jr., General Bernardo Diaz, General Joel Pagdilao and General Edgardo Tinio.

In his order, Commissioner Jaime Morente instructed all immigration officers "to be on the lookout for the mentioned officials should they pass through any immigration counters in any of our international ports and seaports."

Morente's order said that if any of the five officials is still active in the government, he should be able to present a copy of the Authority to Travel Abroad granted by his concerned office or agency at the counter.

Loot said he has nothing against the order and that despite everything he is going through, he is not letting the situation affect his work as local chief executive.

In fact, he said he is now back to his normal duties as mayor and shared that several drug personalities have surrendered in his town following the intensified campaign against illegal drugs.

Loot earlier denied connections to illegal drug trade, saying the allegations could have been spurred by political propaganda as his wife had long been in government service.

In the May 9 elections, he was elected as mayor of Daanbantayan town, about 130 kilometers north of Cebu City, defeating former mayor Augusto Corro by a slim margin of seven votes.

He retired from the PNP in July 2015 after serving the police force for 37 years. He last held a directorship post at the PNP Training Service. (FREEMAN)

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