No impediment to Loot’s travel
There are no legal or administrative problems with Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot’s month long leave and travel abroad, so long as he was granted authority to travel by the governor.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Cebu province confirmed that Loot was granted a leave and will be spending personal funds for his trip.
“That’s the discretion of the governor. Unless molapas siya og I think more than 90 days, that will need authority from the DILG na,” said Jerome Gonzales, chief of DILG-Cebu province.
Gonzales also said that the Local Government Code does not provide a limit on the number of days that a local elected official may go on leave.
Gov. Hilario Davide III confirmed on Wednesday that he granted Loot an authority to travel abroad and approved his application for a 30-day leave for that purpose, pursuant to Loot’s application for leave.
In a letter to Davide dated November 5, the mayor asked that he be granted an authority to travel abroad as he is set to visit his sickly and aging sisters based in Canada and the United States.
Loot said he would also be attending the birthday celebration of his sister who is based in Maryland, USA.
Loot’s leave was effective November 18.
Senior Insp. Adrian Nalua, Daanbantayan police station chief, said he has not seen Mayor Vicente Loot for several months now.
“He’s not attending meetings of department heads and other conferences. I assume he’s no longer here,” he said.
Nalua hoped that Loot will resurface in due time.
“I hope he returns because he’s the mayor here,” he said.
Loot, a retired officer of the Philippine National Police, was one of the five police generals tagged by the President in 2016 as narco-generals.
Despite the accusations, which has been going on for two years now coming from the president himself, no case has been filed against the retired police officer turned mayor.
In the absence of any case against him, both the local police and Davide said there is no basis to prohibit him from traveling.
Since August this year, reports surfaced that the town mayor was hardly seen at the municipal hall, in fear of his life.
Loot and his family were ambushed a day before the Barangay elections at the Maya port in Daanbantayan.
He and his family escaped unscathed but the nanny of his grandchildren, his driver and a porter were wounded when unidentified assailants rained bullets on his vehicle as they boarded it from a trip to Malapascua.
Gonzales however said there is no question as to this set up so long as the delivery of services was not hampered.
“So far okay man ang ilang coordination sa ilahang end. Wala man pod mi reklamo nga nadawat nga naay wala napirmahan kay wala siya,” Gonzales said.
Loot, who is still on his first term as mayor, did not seek reelection for 2019.
His step son, Provincial Board Member Sun Shimura is running in his place.
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