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Mayoralty bet seeks transfer of police colonel

First Posted 08:20:00 02/13/2010

A CANDIDATE for mayor in Daanbantayan town is seeking the transfer of Senior Supt. Vicente Loot, head of operations of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), to another region.

Augusto Corro has expressed fear that Loot would interfere in the conduct of the May election where two of his family members are seeking elective posts.

?I believe that if there is anybody most fit to be immediately transferred to another region, on top of the list should have been Colonel Loot himself,? said Corro in a Jan. 21 letter to PRO7 director Lani-O Nerez.

Loot, however, told reporters that these were the same allegations raised by Corro in 2007 elections.

?They filed a case against me and it came out that all (allegations) were fabricated,? he said. ?This is just their way of maligning me becuase it?s a political season.?

Corro is running for mayor under the Liberal Party against Loot?s wife, incumbent Vice Mayor Ma. Luisa Loot of the administration One Cebu party.

Incumbent Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura, Loot's stepson, is running as representative of the fourth district in the Cebu Provincial Board. Corro lost to Shimura in the 2007 elections.

According to Corro, Loot could influence the conduct of the May elections in Daanbantayan being the second highest ranking police officer in Central Visayas.

He claimed that Loot was very visible in the campaign of his family members.

?This is not to mention unsolved killings in the area of Daanbantayan itself, where supposedly Colonel Loot ? now the second highest ranking officer in region 7 ? is a resident,? said Corro's letter.

Corro said that Loot had also been overstaying in Cebu.

?I believe it is unknown to your office that Col. Vicente Loot had been stationed here in Cebu province for the longest time, among all the PNP high ranking officers assigned here in Cebu,? he said.

?It's been about 19 years that he (Loot) had been stationed here in Cebu, without any regard to the required period for a tour of duty of a PNP officer, with him handling various high and sensitive PNP positions, both for Cebu Province and Region 7 thereafter,? he added.

Corro also said that Loot's stint in Cebu province coincided with the length of public service that his wife and stepson.

Nerez, however, said he had not received a copy of the letter of Corro.

But he admitted that he had not seen the need yet to re-assign any police officer in the region unless there was ?valid and factual? reason.

?I understand if a policeman will visit his family (in their hometown). We should not interfere with that. It would be a different thing if he would go to the barangays and start campaigning. That is alrready a violation,? said Nerez.

Loot, for his part, said he didn?t have any jurisdiction over Daanbantayan because the town falls under the area of responsibility of the Cebu Provincial Police Office.

He said his job in the PRO-7 was purely policy making. Asked if he was willing to be relieved, he replied: ?No problem. I am a good soldier.? Reporter Doris C. Bongcac and Correspondent Jucell Marie Cuyos

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