MANILA - Former Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Ma. Luisa Loot was found guilty of graft and malversation of public funds over a P500,000 loan that she approved for a businessman 12 years ago.
The Sandiganbayan 7th Division sentenced Loot to 6 to 8 years in prison for graft and 2 to 7 years in prison for malversation, saying she and co-accused Samuel Moralde caused "undue injury to the government" when they failed to fulfill contractual obligations like project monitoring and loan payment.
The court, in its August 2 decision, also said it was "incredible to believe" that Moralde, chairman of RBA Quails Raisers Association in 2007, borrowed money from the local government "simply because he has not tried applying for loan from the bank."
The Sandiganbayan ordered Loot and Moralde to pay the municipality of Daanbatayan P500,000 on top of 6-percent interest per annum.
The two are also barred from holding any public office.
Loot is the wife of former police official and former Daanbantayan mayor Vicente Loot, who was linked by President Rodrigo Duterte to the narcotics trade in 2016.
The retired police general said the allegations were part of “black propaganda.”
The ruling against Mrs. Loot and Moralde was penned by Associate Justice Zaldy Trespeses, with the concurrence of Division Chairperson Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta and Associate Justice Georgina Hidalgo.