Antonio Halili, the Mayor of Philippines’ Tanauan City, who had controversially paraded suspects arrested for drug offences, was shot dead by a sniper at a flag-raising ceremony at the Tanauan City Hall.
Halili was killed on Monday by a single shot to the chest from an unknown assailant, Police Superintendent Renato Mercado told CNN.
A video recorded by a government employee, Gerry Laresma, captured the commotion that ensued following the sniper’s shot.
Laresma stated that he was unsure of the shot’s origin and that Halili’s strong anti-crime stance was the reason he had received death threats, CNN said quoting local media.
Vice Mayor Jhoanna Corona-Villamor stated that she had seen the gunshot hit Halili “right in the middle of his chest”.
She said that she fled inside the City Hall following the gunshot and that there were more shots fired by the mayor’s security personnel, who had fired in the direction from where the sniper’s shot came from.
Halili was taken to the Reyes Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead.
Philippine National Police Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde confirmed that a regional special task group was constituted to investigate the killing. He also mentioned that the parading of suspects was also being considered as a motive behind the killing.
Spokesperson of President Rodrigo Duterte, Harry Roque condemned the killing, pledging to serve justice.