President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday indicated that he ordered the hit on former Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot in May 2018.
“General Loot. P— ina mo. Nanalo pa ng mayor. In-ambush kita, animal ka. Buhay pa rin,” Duterte said in a speech at the oath-taking ceremony of newly appointed officials in Malacañang.
Duterte’s latest remark on the ambush was different from his pronouncement in Davao City on December 18 when he denied any role in the incident.
He accused former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II of ordering the hit.
Loot survived the ambush that wounded his driver-bodyguard at a wharf in Daanbantayan town.
Duterte has repeatedly accused Loot of being involved in illegal drugs.
The former mayor is also a former police official close to then Secretary Roxas when he was still in active duty.
Loot has denied Duterte's allegations.
Loot said in 2016 that he would not have the power to protect any criminal because the last seven years of his police service had been "purely administrative in nature.”
“Kayong mga durugista, mga drug lords, maaabutan ko rin kayo. Talagang papatayin ko kayo,” Duterte said.
“Itaga mo kung saan mo itaga 'yan. Sa bayag mo o sa libingan ng nanay mo pati tatay mo. 'Pag inabutan kita, totodasin ko talaga. I said do not f--- with my country. I will kill you.”
It was not the first time that Duterte purportedly admitted having a hand on terminating suspected criminals.
In December 2016, he had said that when he was still mayor of Davao City, he led by example to the police and joined them in operations to "personally" kill criminals.
"But in Davao I used to do it personally. Just to show to the guys that, if I can do it why can’t you? And I go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around and I would just patrol the streets and looking for trouble also. Talagang naghanap ako ng engkwentro para makapatay," Duterte had said.
In November 2017, he said he had stabbed someone to death as a 16-year -old.
Shortly after winning the elections in May 2016, Duterte had said he would give security forces "shoot to kill" orders against drug dealers who would resist arrest.
"I'm not saying you kill them but the order is 'dead or alive', " he had said. —NB/LDF, GMA News