'Black propaganda,' top cop turned mayor says of drug links

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2016 08:36 AM

Retired Chief Superintendent Vicente Loot. File Photo

MANILA - A former police general on Wednesday rejected President Rodrigo Duterte's allegation that he was involved in the illegal drug trade and claimed he was a victim of "black propaganda."

Retired Chief Superintendent Vicente Loot, who was elected mayor of Daanbantayan town in Cebu last May, said he was cleared by an earlier investigation by former president Benigno Aquino's office.

A letter purportedly from Leyte Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez that detailed his alleged criminal links was denied by the lawmaker, Loot said.

Loot said the drug allegations were election-related and would always surface during campaign season. His wife, Maria Luisa, is a former Daanbatayan mayor.

"Iyung paratang sa akin lumalabas everytime may election at tumatakbo iyung asawa ko bilang mayor dito sa amin. I'm a victim of black propaganda since the time my wife entered politics," Loot told radio dzMM.

Loot said he was willing to undergo a drug test and a lifestyle check to disprove the allegation. He added he would seek a meeting with the "highest office possible" to clear his name.

"Sana mabigyan ako ng pagkakataon na mailabas ko naman yung akin at maipakita ko iyung mga ebidensya, maiwasan ko naman iyung trial by publicity dahil unfair sa family ko," he said.

Loot retired last year as director of the police training service. He headed the Cebu anti-illegal drugs group for two years from 2000. He also served as deputy regional director for operations of the police regional office in Central Visayas.

Duterte, who had promised to wage a "bloody war" against crime, linked four other police generals to the drug trade: Chief Superintendent Joel Pagdilao, Chief Superintendent Edgar Tinio, Chief Superintendent Bernardo Diaz and retired Deputy Director General Marcelo Garbo.

Tinio has said Duterte was fed wrong information about his supposed involvement in illegal drugs.

Pagdilao said he was ready to face any investigation, claiming his conscience is clear.