MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday revealed he ordered an ambush on former Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot last year.
Loot, a former police general who Duterte named as a protector of drug rings, survived the May 2018 attack that left 4 others injured.
"General Loot, p*t*ng*n* mo, nanalo pa na mayor. Inambush kita, animal ka, buhay pa rin," Duterte said in a speech during the oath-taking of newly appointed government officials at the Malacañang Palace.
(General Loot, you even won as mayor. I ambushed you. You're an animal, you're still alive.)
“General-general mo. P*****… Pag-aral mo sa PMA gastos ng gobyerno. Tapos kayong mga unggoy kayo sinisira ninyo ang bayan,” he added.
The President earlier claimed that former senator and DILG secretary Mar Roxas was behind the ambush of Loot.
“I wasn’t the one who ordered for his ambush. It was Roxas. Roxas ordered his ambush, not me. Because he was told, ‘Your Garbo, your senior police aide is involved in drugs.’ That was why Roxas was irked. He said, ‘Patayin na lang ninyo para hindi tayo mapahiya,’” Duterte said in Visayan during a speech in Davao city on December 2018.
Loot last year said he doubted that the attack was linked to local politics and said "bounty hunters" may be behind the incident.
"May nagsabi sa akin na may group of bounty hunters na mga nandito. In fact, gustong 'magregalo' and we have their identities also," Loot told radio DZMM.
(Someone told me that there is a group of bounty hunters here. In fact they want to give a "gift" and we have their identities also.)
The Palace, meanwhile, was quick to clarify that Duterte was not serious when he made the claim, saying that it was made as an “expression of displeasure said in jest” about Loot’s alleged involvement in the drug trade.
Loot was director of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Training Service and director of Police Regional Office 8 before retiring.
He later entered politics and won as mayor of Daanbantayan, Cebu in 2016.
The administration has several times denied involvement in summary killings of drug suspects.
Early in his administration, Duterte was tagged by confessed assassins in death squads in Davao City during his time as mayor, which the President denied.
- with a report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News