Transcript of Mayor Vicente A. Loot’s speech at the Senate hearing
The Honorable Chairman and Members of this Joint Committee:
I am Retired PCsupt Vicente A Loot, now Mayor of the The Municipality of Daanbantayan, province of Cebu. I retired from the PNP after 33 years of Service, with untarnished and an unblemished record. I’m a recipient of more or less 83 Service medals and commendations in recognition of Heroism, Bravery and Gallantry in Action during Military Combat and Police Operations, as well as Administrative and Leadership Accomplishments. Most notably are the following Medals;
– 5 PNP Medalya Ng Pambihirang Paglilingkod or Distinguished Service Medals
– Gold Cross Medal
– Bronze Cross Medal and
– Medalya Ng KADAKILAAN, given by PAOCTF in 2001 for leading as a Case Officer, the successful neutralization of a drug cartel based in Cebu but operating in Metro Manila.
I was also awarded as:
– Most Outstanding Senior Police Officer of the Year, PRO7 2009
– Most Outstanding Staff Officer of the Year , PRO7 2008
– Twice adjudged as Best Provincial Director of the Year, of PRO7 in 2005 and 2006
– Twice chosen as Most Outstanding Regional Field Officer of the Year of the Narcotics Grp for year 2000 and 2001
With reputation built in 33 years ruined and credibility stained, my name was dragged into this drug controversy by an alleged validated Intelligence report linking me as protector of Kerwin Espinosa.
The report specifically stated as detailed in the news, that I was the original Handler of Kerwin Espinosa after recruiting him to recycle confiscated drugs when I was still the Regional Chief of Regional Anti Narcotics Unit in Region 7 (RANU7).
For the record, I was the chief of the Nargroup RANU7 starting Jan 2000 until July 2002 when i joined the Phil Center for Transnational crime based in Camp Crame. In his testimony, Kerwin categorically stated that he started selling drugs in 2004- 2 years after I left RANU7 ! It is very clear now that the Intel report is not that Intelligent, basically untrue and most likely fabricated, by people whose shoes I may have stepped upon and whose report has been capitalized by our political enemies whose influence has reached the office of the President.
The intel report further added that I visited Kerwin Espinosa in his detention cell sometime March 2015 hence no charges was filed against him. This allegations defies logic, as sometime June 2013, when my name was floated by Mayor Erap as his personal choice to become Distric Director of MPD, a barrage of fictitious complaint thru text messages and letters reach the C, PNP and PNoy linking me to protecting Kerwin Espinosa. So, why should I visit him when I’m already investigated for protecting him? A ranking Police Official visiting a high profile drug personality in a secured govt installation, with Guards log books and CCTVs will never escape public consciousness and scrutiny.
Though the fictitious complaints were eventually dismissed, As a consequence, I did not get the MPD command position.
Now, from what Kerwin has bared before this hallowed chamber, his statement has effectively established the following:
1. That we don’t know each other ever since, has no personal transactions either by phone or in person.
2. That no jail visit had ever happened in 2015
3. That from the very beginning, the intel report that was fed to the President which was made as the basis of my name being dragged is in fact baseless and fabricated.
4. That the alleged conduit between Kerwin and I, a certain PCInsp Leo Laraga, is not known to me. I don’t remember knowing him personally or was he assigned under me in my previous unit assignments. In his statement before this Body, He also denied knowing me, as he denied having received payola intended for me.
5. Si Kerwin At si PCInsp Laraga ay parehong hindi ako kilala. Kung nagsasabi sila ng totoo, klaro na nakinabang ang binigyan ng pera matapos gamitin ang pangalan ko. Clearly again, I was a victim of name dropping or influence peddling, a practice done by subordinates which very common in the PNP. Kung ikaw ay commander, lalo na Ng Isang operating unit, may credibilidad at mabait, madaling maibenta yung pangalan mo at mapagkitaan Ng MGA influence peddlers.
6. Kung basehan Natin Ang hierarchy of payola ni Kerwin na nagdepende sa ranggo Ang laki Ng ibinibigay weekly, Klaro na may low ranking Police Officer or Non Commisioned Officer na gumamit Ng pangalan ko para lumaki Ang take nila weekly. He is just careful enough to demand an amount that will not require Kerwin to double check. Otherwise, had he asked for P1M or P3M monthly , Kerwin would have demanded for confirmation from me either by phone or in person.
7. Hindi ko Po alam kung anong unit assignment at kelan, o anong taon gigil na gigil SI Psupt Matira na hulihin SI Kerwin pero hindi nya magawa dahil pinigilan daw namin ni Pcsupt Asher Dolina. Pero Ang pagkakaalam ko Po ay Pag alis ko sa PRO8 Nuong Dec 26, 2012, nakakulong na si Kerwin sa Ormoc City Jail. At nakulong SI Kerwin sa bisa Ng warrant of arrest na galing sa Cebu pagkatapos ko naibigay sa MGA operatives Ang information na may Warrant sya sa Cebu. The statement therefore is obviously perjurious and a cover up of Psupt Matira’s inefficiency. Eto po ay isang PALUSOT lamang para ipahid sa iba at mapagtakpan ang kanyang kakulangan sa pagganap niya sa kanyang trabaho, after he was cornered by the questioning of Sen LAcson.
My assignments in the last 7 years of my career has been purely administrative in nature and it culminated with my 21/2 years stint as Director of the PNP Training Service until I retired in July 2015. My responsibility then was focused on ensuring competency of PNP personnel while performing their duties. I don’t have the command and the mandate to discharge functions to conduct anti criminality operations or direct and control any unit or personnel involved in any anti drug or anti criminality campaign. Protection by a Police Officer to any criminals requires Position and command and control over the unit or personnel involved in such anti criminality operations. In my case, I have none of the above. Logically, I cannot offer what I don’t have. I only have the rank, the credibility and the amiable and approachable personality that scalawag and unscrupulous people can use to peddle for their own vested interest.
Your Honors, The past 5 months has been harrowing and painful to me and my family after having been subjected to trial by publicity.
If you please, allow me to also address the statement that tagged my person as someone involved in drug trade wherever I was be assigned particularly in Regions I, II, III, and IV. With all due respect, I could not be in any way involved in illicit operations in those regions since I was never assigned to such areas of jurisdiction in any period of time, except in a short stint of 6 months right after graduation in the Academy from June 1982 to Dec 1982. From my graduation at PMA in 1982, I was never given any assignment or position that I could use or take advantage to ‘coddle’ or ‘protect’ drug operations until my assignment with the Regional Anti-Narcotic Unit 7 based in Cebu City in 2000 to July 2002.
Second, I too wish to address the allegations of unlawfully acquired assets by my family. With all honesty Your Honors, much of what I have now are not mine in the first place. When I married my wife in 1991, she was already a millionaire so to speak while I had practically nothing.
By operation of law, her properties became part of the absolute community, a property regime that practically makes her property mine too. My only investment in the said union is my family name that i gave her. Pertinent government records support this claim. With industry and perseverance, my wife was able to grow her networth, acquire new assets, and expand her businesses that when she joined Politics as Vice Mayor in 1992- 2 years after our marriage, she already had a declared SALN Net Worth of more than P82M . While I diligently served the government as a cop, she went her way up through honest conduct of entrepreneurship. From the start, we had been forthright in jointly declaring with our Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) cognizant that in the future, ill-willed personalities would assail the legality of our acquisitions. True enough, there had been questions in the past instigated by my wife’s political enemies, regarding the legitimacy of our community property but the same were dismissed by no less than the Office of the Ombudsman in a Joint Resolution dated 22 May 2014 in OMB-P-C-09-0597-H and OMB-P-A-09-0645-H, a copy of which, to include other pertinent documents related to all her paraphernal and our community properties, has been submitted to the investigating body directed by DILG to conduct lifestyle investigation on us.
Third, the report that I had been storing tons of cash at my basement is a tall tale and is untrue. Not even the the richest man on earth will do this. Our houses to include those units for rent, at Mandaue City and Daanbantayan, Cebu have no basements. Certainly, it is just a figment of imagination floated by organized social media Trollers and Bashers of our political enemies using fake accounts. As a politician, our house is open to our supporters and even to members of the media who frequently visit us..
And lastly, the much publicized Isla de gato with malicious insinuations that it has shabu laboratory because of its caves and tunnel, is not ours! The solid rock, 2000 sq mtr more less island is owned by the govt and was in fact declared by the municipal govt as fish sanctuary even before my wife became the vice mayor in 1992. It was later declared as marine protected area because it is a natural habitat to the endangered sea snakes. Fishing is not allowed within the 1km radius from the island but it is open for scuba diving for a fee at P150/diver. The island indeed has caves and tunnels but they are all underwater and actually home to sleeping sharks and variety of marine species. The Mun govt therefore is inviting people to come and dive, not drive them away for Isla de Gato is the Mecca of all diving enthusiasts.
Without a doubt, Issues were invented and eventually magnified simply because, my wife is rich even before we met, became an independent politician and later became the only political opposition in the fourth district of cebu, who showed loyalty to Cong Benhur Salimbangon and the then Gov Gwen Garcia, and go wherever they go and bite the bullet for them.
Without a doubt, the severe allegations hurled against me have taken a toll on my family, on the business credibility that my wife has established with Banks for 3 decades now and on my reputation My explanation today cannot guarantee my vindication for damage has already been done but, somehow the opportunity given me by this Honorable committee will provide me with a starting ground from where i can slowly start picking up the pieces. To these, I offer you my heartfelt thanks and appreciation. God bless you always ..
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