LOOT IS A MILLIONAIRE
At least 10 motor vehicles, a sports car, two jet skis, a speedboat, 12 house and lot units, four agricultural lots, beach front properties, a lending company, cockpit arena, pieces of jewelry, and cash — all amounting to over P108 million.
These are among the properties owned by retired Cebuano police general Vicente Loot based on his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Networth (SALN) that he and his wife Maria Luisa, then Daanbantayan mayor, submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman in 2011.
Yesterday, Loot admitted his wealth further rose by about P2 million, or now stood at about P110 million.
The one-star general, who was among the five top police officials identified as illegal drug “protectors” by President Rodrigo Duterte last Tuesday, however, said all his properties were acquired in an honest and clean way. The other Cebuano retired general in the President’s list, Marcelo Garbo Jr., also maintained his innocence, saying Mr. Duterte was fed with the wrong information.
Loot was no stranger to investigation involving his wealth and was subjected to lifestyle check by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in 2009.
But the case lodged against him before the Office of the Ombudsman was dismissed last year for lack of sufficient evidence.
Loot stressed he also has no plan to step down as mayor of Daanbantayan, as the allegations raised against me were related to my present post.
Loot and his wife Maria Luisa have a total taxable income of only about P1.5 million every year, way below their total wealth. But Loot said they have not been depending solely on their salaries.
“We sourced our income from our family-owned businesses such as lending or financing, recreational activities like cockpit operation and leasing of real estate. And remember, the value of our properties increases through time,” he told Cebu Daily News by phone yesterday.
Loot is set to fly to Manila today to meet with Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa. He said he was also seeking an audience with President Duterte through the Cebuano allies of the President.
Lie detector test
“I really want to clear my name. Whatever they want to happen, I will oblige. And I welcome any investigation to be conducted just to find out the truth,” he said.
Loot said he was willing to undergo a lie detector test in front of the President and to waive his right to the bank secrecy law so all his bank accounts could be examined.
“I and my wife are used to being accused of being drug protectors by political opponents. We really don’t care about it. But this one is different. The accusations came from the mouth of the President. And it hurts,” he said.
He said his four children aged 34, 27, 26, and 24 were affected. “Nahadlok na intawon mogawas ang akong mga anak. (My children are afraid to go out of their homes.) They are ashamed to go out because of what happened to me.”
He asked Cebuanos not to judge him, saying he has done nothing to soil his name in the 37 years that he was in the police service.
“I took good care of my name during my entire career with the PNP so when I retire, I would leave the service without any blemish. But here comes the accusations, and it ruined everything. Mura kog natakuban sa langit (It was as if heaven crushed down on me),” he said, as his voiced cracked.
Loot headed the Central Visayas Regional Anti-Narcotics Office before he headed the Cebu Provincial Police Office from 2005 to 2007. He was later named deputy for operations of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), and was deputy regional director in Region 8 (2010 to 2012).
Loot, 56, retired in July 2015 and ran for mayor of Daanbantayan last May. He won over his opponent by a margin of just seven votes.
NBI records revealed that Loot and his wife had total taxable income of P611,214 in 2005; P612,548 in 2006 and P604,680 in 2007. But in their joint SALN, the couple declared a net worth of P83,075,173 in 2005; P87,645,800 in 2006 and P106,701,628 in 2007.
Based on their joint SALN secured by CDN in 2011, the couple owns at least 12 house and lot units in Mango Green Subdivision in Mandaue City, Daanbantayan, and Bogo City.
They also have four agricultural and beach front properties in Daanbantayan, and a condominium unit in Quezon City. Their real properties, acquired since 1985, had a total value of P4 million.
The couple also has a Toyota Land Cruiser (P3.9 million), SUV Ford Explorer (P2.2 million), a Super Grandia Toyota (P2.1 million), Mazda Sports Car (P2.1 million), H2 Hummer (P2 million), two Mitsubishi L300 vans (P793,000), a Mazda sedan (P600,000), Isuzu Forward van (P400,000), and an Isuzu Elf Canter (P360,000).
They have a speed boat (P900,000), two jet skis (P400,000), two generator sets (P145,000), pieces of jewelry (P6 million), furniture (P2 million), insurance policies (P900,000), and bank deposits (P1 million).
They own four mandaue-based companies: Eigado Real Estate, Eigado Lending, Gallera De Mandaue cockpit, and Sabungan Canteen.
The Loot couple’s liabilities amounted to P14.7 million, mostly loans.
Loot reiterated the accusations against him could be part of a politically motivated black propaganda. Aside from him and his wife, his stepson, Sun Shimura, is also in politics. Shimura is a Provincial Board member.
Loot claimed his name might have been used by people involved in illegal drugs, recalling an incident in 2012 when, while assigned in PNP Eastern Visayas, arrested alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa claimed ties with Loot since he bought his fighting cocks from the police general. But Loot said the claim was illogical because it was him who gave the order to implement Espinosa’s arrest warrant.
Because he owns a cockpit arena, Loot said his name has become vulnerable as some patrons of his business could be drug lords. However, he said it was this business that allowed him and his wife to also grow their assets.
Meanwhile, Garbo, who served as PRO-7 director from September 2011 to August 2013, said the President was misinformed.
“I cannot blame the President for making such announcement. But I assure him and the Filipino people that he (Duterte) was fed with wrong and poisonous information,” he said in a GMA online report.
“It’s a sad day for people who believe in good governance, righteousness and integrity,” Garbo added.
CDN tried to contact Garbo by phone but the police general, who reportedly flew to the US last month, did not answer the calls. Text messages sent to him were also left unanswered.
Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, the newly designated director of PRO-7, said the President’s revelations were “part of the internal cleansing process of the PNP.”
“We’ve seen that the President is really serious in the campaign against illegal drugs. It has started and you can expect intensified anti-drug activities in the coming days,” he told reporters.
Taliño said they were also identifying scalawags in their ranks, and the police connections of Garbo and Loot in Central Visayas.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.