By Aaron Recuenco
Police are looking into the possibility of bounty hunters as behind Sunday’s failed ambush on retired police general and now Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot.
Director General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said a special investigation task group was already created to probe the motive behind the gun attack. The probe team includes investigators from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
“Probably he should cooperate with the investigators if he indeed knows something in order to solve this ambush,” said Albayalde.
The Chief PNP was reacting to the reported statement of Loot that bounty hunters could be behind the attack. There were also reports that the gunmen were Tagalog-speaking, which reinforced Loot’s claim.
At around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, gunmen repeatedly shot the vehicle carrying Loot and his family in Barangay Maya in Daanbantayan town. The attack wounded the driver and a family househelp.
Police are still investigating the motive behind the ambush but Loot’s name was among those repeatedly mentioned by President Duterte as involved in illegal drugs activities.
This was also mentioned by Loot in the initial probe.
“According to him, the threat he has been insisting is that every now and then his name is being mentioned by the President, his alleged involvement in illegal drugs,” said Albayalde.
The official said that the top leadership of the Central Visayas regional police have already sent policemen to secure Loot and his family.
Albayalde said that he expects Loot to cooperate in the investigation, especially on his claim that bounty hunters are out to kill him.
“I think he should tell everything he knows to our investigators. He knows that because he is a former policeman,” said Albayalde.
But the official said that he understands if Loot’s cooperation would take a while as the latter may have been hiding right now after the ambush.
“Let’s give him time to rest and recover from fear. He was ambushed and that is serious,” said Albayalde.
Aside from Loot, another high-profile personality being linked to illegal drugs, former La Union Cong. Eufranio Eriguel, was killed on Saturday.
Iloilo City Mayor Jed Mabilog, on the other hand, was forced to go out of the country due to the alleged threat he has been receiving after his name also cropped in Duterte’s narcolist.
On the other hand, two alleged drug lords operating in Iloilo area, Marvin and Mariam Odicta, were also ambushed in an Iloilo port after they went to Camp Crame to clear their names.