Philippine mayor on Dutertes ‘narco-list slain by ‘sniper

Clay Curtis
July 4, 2018

Antonio Halili, the mayor of Tanuan, Philippines was shot and killed at a flag-raising ceremony Tanauan City Hall Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (3rd R) with military officials, salute to the Philippine flag during his visit at Bangolo town in Marawi city, southern Philippines Oct. 17, 2017.

A Philippines mayor who gained notoriety for implementing a "walk of shame" parade for drug dealers in his city was shot dead by a single bullet during a flag-raising ceremony Monday, police said. However, the shooter managed to escape, and Mr Halili was pronounced dead at hospital.

Although the victim is not seen in the clip, a shot is heard ringing out as national anthem is played and the government officials sing along with their hands on their chests.

"We are shocked, we are saddened", Vice Mayor Jhoanna Villamor, who was standing beside Halili, told radio station DZBB.

The public viewing of the remains of late Tanauan City mayor Antonio Halili.

Two videos of the incident made the rounds of social media, one from a mobile phone that showed the ensuing chaos and the mayor's security men firing their guns, and another from a security camera showing the mayor slumping after being shot. Suddenly, a single shot rang out followed by screams and chaos.

These remarks contradict those of presidential spokesman Harry Roque who earlier today called Halili a staunch ally of the administration's campaign against illegal drugs. He denied the allegations.

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Since Mr Duterte took office in 2016, more than 4,200 drug suspects had been killed in clashes with police, alarming human rights groups, Western governments and United Nations rights watchdogs.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. In an interview with Reuters prior to being placed on the "narco-list", Halili said that he was concerned he might be accused of colluding with narcotics gangs.

"While we did not agree with Mayor Halili's method of dealing with crime and illegal drugs in his city, his murder is condemnable".

Police now do not have any suspects or motives for the killing, but Halili's controversial practice of parading suspects through Tanauan had raised his profile.

The controversial Halili had compared himself to Duterte as he publicly shared the president's hardline position against crime and illegal drugs.

Halili's family business are emission testing centers (with branches nationwide), drug-testing centers, and a realty development corporation among others.

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. "He may have deprived many Tanauan residents of due process but that doesn't mean he should be deprived of it too".

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