Philippine mayor who held drugs war 'walk of shame' shot dead

Philippines mayor shot dead during flag-raising ceremony

He likewise likened Mr. Halili to drug-linked slain mayors such as Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando R. Espinosa, Sr. and Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, Sr.

A controversial mayor in the Philippines has been shot dead during a flag-raising ceremony.

The apparent lone gunshot felled Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan city in Batangas province south of Manila as he and about 300 employees and newly elected village leaders sang the national anthem in a parking lot outside the city hall.

Philippine National Police Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said that a regional special task group had been convened to investigate the killing, according to CNN affiliate CNN Philippines, and that the suspect parades were being considered as a motive.

Halili had ordered drug suspects to be paraded in public in a campaign that was dubbed "walks of shame" but police also alleged he had ties to illegal drugs.

Halili was killed on Monday by a single shot to the chest from an unknown assailant, Police Superintendent Renato Mercado told CNN. According to Provincial Chief Superintendent Edward E. Caranza, the deadly bullet was sacked from a distance, using a 5.56 or 7.62 caliber high-powered rifle, possibly an M-14 or M-16 firearm.

"This Halili in Batangas, he pretended to display the addicts, but it was him. His skill can be compared to a trained sniper", he said.

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The brazen nature of the killing and links to Duterte's drug war drew immediate outrage.

Senator Francis N. Pangilinan for his part said: "We reiterate: the everyday killings of our citizens do not and will not solve the drug problem..."

"It is this Philippine image of a'wild, wild west' that has also dampened the desire of both foreign and local investors", he added. "Because this is consistent to how Duterte turned Davao City into the murder capital of the Philippines based on PNP (Philippine National Police) data when he was still its Mayor", he said.

Interior and Local Government officer-in-charge Eduardo Año, meanwhile, said he sees on the pattern in the killing of mayors who have been linked to the illegal drug trade. Human rights activists say Duterte's vow to kill thousands of illicit drug dealers have led police to carry out extrajudicial killings of suspected dealers and users.

"We promise the family and constituents of Mayor Halili that there will be justice and an investigation and that those behind the killing will be punished", Roque said.

"If mayors, other local government officials and even priests can be killed in broad daylight, the threat to ordinary civilians is that much greater", she said.

Two alleged drug dealers stand next to drug paraphernalia confiscated during a police operation conducted in Manila, Philippines, on March 15, 2018.

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