By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Michelle Joy L. Padayhag July 11,2016 - 11:29 PM

VIRAL. This photo of Isla de Gato, an islet off the town of Daanbantayan, has gone viral on Facebook after it was identified as allegedly owned by the town mayor, Vicente Loot, one of the police generals named as drug protectors by President Duterte.  FB post

VIRAL. This photo of Isla de Gato, an islet off the town of Daanbantayan, has gone viral on Facebook after it was identified as allegedly owned by the town mayor, Vicente Loot, one of the police generals named as drug protectors by President Duterte.
FB post

Retired police general and now Mayor Vicente Loot of the town of Daanbantayan in Cebu, who was among the five police generals accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of allegedly coddling drug lords, will face another challenge: a tax investigation.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue in Central Visayas (BIR-7) has started validating the tax returns of Loot, who had previously acknowledged assets reaching about P110 million; and all those with the name of “Peter Lim” in Cebu, whom the President had said was one of the three big-time drug lords in the country protected by another police general, retired Philippine National Police (PNP) Deputy General Marcelo Garbo Jr.

Lawyer Neri Yu, chief legal officer for BIR 13 Division, said the instruction to validate their tax returns came from BIR-7 Director Herminio Palamine.

“The validation can also identify if there are undeclared properties or income and if they have filed their income tax returns correctly,” Yu said.
He added they wanted to be ready with the data once their central office would request for them in the wake of ongoing investigation into the five so-called narco generals.

According to Yu, all data involving Loot and all the Peter Lims that were available in all their district offices in Cebu and Bohol would be checked and investigated if any deficiency would be found.

Loot, who was a chief superintendent when he retired in 2015, was accused of coddling drug lords along with Garbo and three others still in active service: Director Joel Pagdilao and Chief Superintendents Bernardo Diaz and Edgardo Tinio.

Loot declared total asset of P108 million in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALN) submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman in 2011.

By his admission last week, Loot said his assets now stood at around P110 million.

According to Loot’s SALN, he and his wife own 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, a cockpit arena, pieces of jewelry, and about a P1 million in bank deposits.

Loot, upon his retirement last year, also received a total of P5.6 million – P2.4 million in retirement pay and P3.2 million for accumulated leaves
But records showed that Loot’s taxable income, together with his wife Maria Luisa, a former mayor of Daanbantayan, was only pegged at about P1.5 million every year.

Loot had explained that this happened because most of their assets were real properties.

No problem

Yesterday, Loot expressed confidence that he could be cleared in a tax audit as all their acquired properties could be traced and were properly declared.

“I have no problem with that. That’s why (all our assets were) declared because (they are) legal. We will cooperate if they are conducting a validation,” he told Cebu Daily News.

Speaking through spokesperson Dioscoro Fuentes Jr., well-known Cebuano businessman Peter Lim, meanwhile, denied that he was the Lim being referred to by the President.

Peter and his brother Wellington gained infamy in 2001 when they were subjected to a congressional inquiry that named them as Cebu’s biggest drug lords at that time. They were, however, cleared of the accusation despite the testimonies of two of their former employees, Bernard Liu and Ananias Dy.

Years later, Liu and Dy were killed separately under mysterious circumstances.

Fuentes said his clients have businesses that include Hilton Heavy Equipment in Mandaue City; Limbros Realty and Development Corporation, which manages Happy Homes in the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Talisay; Kazz International; K1 KTV in Cebu City; and Tiger Motor Sales.

Fuentes said his client should not be singled out since there were 110 persons named Peter Lim in Cebu who were registered at the Commission on Elections in 2001.


Loot had earlier admitted that businessman Peter Lim is his kumpare (close friend) as the latter is the godfather of one of his sons. But he claimed to not know of the activities of Lim.

Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) director, said they also still have to determine whether or not Cebuano businessman Peter Lim was the same suspected drug lord alluded to by President Duterte last July 7.

Taliño said the team he created to look into the President’s revelations was still “monitoring the connections of those two generals (Garbo and Loot) here.”

Taliño said they also have a hard time identifying the Peter Lim referred to by the President since the Bureau of Immigrations data base showed there were about 4,000 people named Peter Lim in the entire country.

“Whoever he is, I urge him to surrender to us. He can’t simply get rid of this,” said Taliño.

Last July 7, President Duterte identified the three big-time drug lords purportedly coddled by Garbo as Peter Lim alias Jaguar, Wu Tuan alias Peter Co, and Herbert Colangco alias Ampang.

Aside from operating in the Visayas, no other specific descriptions about Lim were given by the President.

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TAGS: BIR, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Cebu, Daanbantayan, Mayor Vicente Loot, Peter Lim, Philippine National Police, President Rodrigo Duterte

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