Loot: They should have filed criminal case
Loot: They should have filed criminal case
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo, May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - March 16, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Beleaguered Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot is baffled why no criminal case was filed against him despite being tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte as one of the public officials in the country allegedly involved in the illegal drug business.

 

In a text message to the media, Loot said the police should have filed a criminal complaint against him if they have evidence.

“Nahibulong ko ngano administrative case. Kun duna silay evidence, criminal case unta (I wonder why only administrative case. If they have evidence against me, they should have filed criminal case),” Loot wrote.

Loot, a retired police general, was among the 46 politicians—35 mayors, seven vice mayors, one provincial board member and three members of the House of Representatives—included on the so-called “narcolist” revealed by Duterte on national television Thursday evening.

The president said administrative complaints were already filed before the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) against them. Loot did not anymore comment on the administrative complaint saying he wants to avoid “trivializing” the issue.

He admitted being advised by his lawyers to refrain from commenting on the case. Loot said he will just present evidence before the proper forum showing that he has long been exonerated from the allegation.

Another official from Cebu included in the list was San Fernando Vice Mayor Fralz Sabalones, brother of self-confessed drug lord Franz Sabalones.

The Freeman found out that the vice mayor had been on leave since August in 2018. The records show that Sabalones is no longer reporting back to his office until his term ends on June 30.

First Councilor Gemma Bacalla takes care of the responsibility left by Sabalones as presiding officer of the Municipal Council.

Monitoring

Police Regional Office-7 director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas said they will continue monitoring the activities of Loot and Sabalones. He admitted that their action is limited to only monitoring the two officials because there has been no warrant of arrest against them.

Sinas did not anymore comment when asked on why former Cebu City mayor Michael Rama was no longer included in the list read by Duterte the other night.

Candidacy Boost

Rama’s political allies welcomed the recent development and described it as a boost to the former mayor’s candidacy. Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia said they are hoping that the validated list will already put an end to the “malicious black propaganda” against Rama.

“I saw it coming. The fact that the President endorsed Mike Rama in the PDP rally was a prelude to his non-inclusion in the narcolist. It just shows that the President was misinformed and got his wrong information from agencies who were still at that time influenced by the Liberal party,” Garcia said.

Time to Move On

Rama, in a phone interview, said he will definitely move on after years of being publicly defamed. With no hard feelings, Rama hoped he will have time to personally thank Duterte on this development.

“God is good all the time. All the time, God is good. The truth has already been presented. I have been claiming that I have never been an addict and neither a drug protector,” Rama told The FREEMAN.

It was in 2016 and 2017 when Rama was publicly named by Duterte as among the public officials allegedly protecting the illegal drug operations in the country. —with Mylen P. Manto FPL (FREEMAN)

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