Cebu vice mayor, husband sued for ill-gotten wealth
The Manila based edition of the Manila Standard Today published a story with the above headline on April 7, 2009, see full article and source below.
So far NO Cebu based newspapers have published the story about the Loots being charged with Graft and Corruption by NBI. It has now been over a week since the first story appeared at a Manila based Online website on Monday April 6, 2009 and subsequently in numerous other Manila newspapers.
Information received from Cebu media representatives suggests that Police Supt Vicente Loot and his associates, have contacted people within the Cebu media and instructed/coerced them NOT to publish stories about the Loots and the criminal charges laid against them. Vic Loot is using standover tactics to supress the media, something which he has allegedly done many times in the past.
Cebu based newspaper reporters have been told by their bosses NOT to run stories based on the media reports appearing in the Manila press, despite the many reports (6 or 7) now already published which clearly outline the charges and persons involved. Local Cebu reporters have been trying to obtain copies of the eight page summary of charge documentation lodged with the Ombudsman, so they have supporting documents issued by a government body, in order to satisfy their editors SOP (standard operating procedures), and thereby be able to "workaround" the officially sanctioned "gag".
Vic Loot has advised media contacts that the matter is just "political", and has no factual reality. Quite to the contrary, there are at least four criminal charges referred to in the press releases, so this matter is clearly a criminal matter, and nothing to do with politics, despite what he and his wife may think. The Loots have apparently broken the law quite seriously, and are now trying to suppress the matter.
Maria Luisa Loot has been obviously quite bothered by this matter, and has been seen staying awake all night at Daanbantayan playing mahjong till late in the morning. Whenever she has a crisis, her behavior has been observed to be the same ie she stays up late all night playing cards, as she is so bothered that she cannot sleep.
During these late night mahjong sessions over the last few evenings, instead of calling "pong" when she has a winning hand, Malu calls "peste hi nam puk Itok Corro", an obvious reference to her hatred of political rival Itok Corro, and an indication that she blames Corro for the current situation the Loots are in, and her belief that he is somehow behind the graft charges that the NBI have laid against her and her Chief of Police husband.
In an instant election appeal & recount of the May 2007 election result, Engr. Augusto (Itok) Corro and his running mate Dr Jose de Leon were declared winners of the council election for the positions of Mayor and Vice Mayor of Daanbantayan respectively, a matter still under appeal by Loot at Comelec.
Rather than Corro having anything to do with the recent graft charges laid, it would appear that the NBI saw major discrepancies and indications of unexplained significant increases in wealth, in official tax returns and SALN's submitted by the Loots, and decided to investigate these anomalies further.
There was a report in the media in November 2008 where Ma Luisa Loot was reported as being the richest public official in Cebu, with P123 million to their joint names (Source: Loot beats Greg as richest official - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos
As we all know, President Arroyo (GMA) is firmly behind moves to clean up corruption (especially in regard to police and other public officials), so this is just another practical example of these endeavours. The Loots have literally "shot themselves in the foot", by submitting documents that did not "match up" and have publicly given sufficient information to the NBI to proceed with an investigation and subsequent laying of charges.
The following story is about criminal charges laid against the lady Vice Mayor of Daanbantayan (in northern Cebu) Maria Luisa Judal Loot, and her policeman husband Sr Supt Vicente Areno Loot, chief of the Cebu Provincial Police Office, in Cebu City.
This is probably the best written article to so far to appear in the Manila based press.
It provides more details of the discrepancies the NBI found, than any other so far published report.
It appeared in the Manila Standard Today newspaper edition of April 7, 2009.
These people hold senior positions in government offices and should be above reproach.
It's high time they were caught for all the evil deeds they have done to the townspeople of Daanbantayan. They should both be stood down from their respective positions immediately.
Cebu vice mayor, husband sued for ill-gotten wealth
By Macon Ramos Araneta
For allegedly amassing unexplained wealth, a Cebu town vice mayor and her
policeman-husband have been charged with graft and corrupt practices before
Vice Mayor Ma. Luisa Judal Loot of Daanbantayan in Cebu, and her husband,
Senior Supt. Vicente Areno Loot, chief of the Cebu Provincial Police Office,
were also charged with violations of the code of ethics for public officials
and faking public documents in a complaint filed by the National Bureau of
The charges against the Loot couple stemmed from the questionable increase
in their net worth, which was not proportionate with the annual taxable
income they declared in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net
The accused reported a net worth of P87.6 million in 2006 and P106.7 million
in 2007, representing a P4.5-million increase for 2006 and a more than
P19-million hike from 2006 to 2007.
"There is no sufficient explanation for the exorbitant increase in net worth
of the couple for 2006 and 2007," the NBI said in the complaint.
"How could there be an increase in the amount of P4,570,657 in the year 2006
if the taxable income earned during that year was only P612,548? Same is
true for 2007," said the NBI.
The NBI said the Loot couple claimed that the increase in their net worth in
2006 was brought about by an increase in their real properties by
P8,500,000, a decrease in the value of their personal properties in the
amount of P1,091 million and a P2.8- million increase in their liabilities.
The Loots said the increase in their real property was caused by the
construction of a five-unit townhouse worth P8,500,000 at Mango Green
Village, Mandaue City in 2006.
"Assuming that the decrease in personal properties and the increase of
liabilities has contributed to the cost of construction of the townhouse,
the remaining increase of P4,570,657 is unexplained as there was no visible
source of income that would support the increase," noted the NBI.
In 2007, the value of their properties was placed at P23.7 million, from
P16.5 million in 2006.
The couple claimed to have made some investments amounting to P6.48 million.
"However, even the increase in subjects' liabilities and their annual income
could not justify or explain the sources of the abrupt increase in assets,"
said the NBI.
Aside from the unexplained increase in assets, the accused also have
properties under their names that were not reflected in their joint SALN.
Based on their joint SALN, the couple declared they own only two parcels of
land and two buildings.
But, verification with the Assessor's Office of Daanbantayan disclosed there
were six other parcels of land declared under the name of the couple. They
likewise have properties in Agujo, Daanbantayan.
The police officer also failed to include in the joint SALN his business
interest in Photomate Inc. as an incorporator when it was formed in May