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‘I did not clear Loot’

Mae Clydyl L. Avila (The Freeman) - July 18, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The former chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-7 has belied reports that his office has cleared ex-Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot from any form of illegal drug involvement.

Police Colonel Marlon Tayabay, the former chief of CIDG-7, told The FREEMAN in a phone interview that CIDG-7 is not in the position to clear Loot from the allegations.

He said that the document that Loot attached in his letter appealing for the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-7 to conduct an independent investigation to delist him from narcotics was concluded in October 2016.

This is roughly two months after he was relieved from his post as CIDG-7 chief.

He said he merely authorized the investigation on Loot and former San Fernando Vice Mayor Fralz Sabalanes last August 18, 2016 in compliance with the directive from the national headquarters of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame.

“Wala iyan sa authority ng CIDG-7. I do not know Loot and I never knew him too. I did not authorize any clearing. If I authorized anything, it was for the investigation.  It was as form of following directives from the national headquarters,” Tayaba said.

He added that presenting the document three years after it was supposedly concluded is even “fishy.”

But, as it is out of his jurisdiction, Tayaba said that the task of clearing or implicating Loot to illegal drugs is not anymore under his control.

Tayaba is now the director of the Iloilo Provincial Police Office.

His statements came after the recent report that he cleared Loot from illegal-drug links leading to the latter to submit a request to the NBI-7 to conduct an investigation on him.

But both the PRO-7 and PDEA-7 leadership said that it is up to the palace to delist or clear Loot of any form of drug links as he was singled out by President Rodrigo Duterte as a narco-general. — GAN (FREEMAN)

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