Antonio Halili, the city mayor of the Philippine city Tanuan ,was shot dead by at least two suspects, one of them a “highly-skilled” sharpshooter, during a flag-raising ceremony Monday morning at the city hall grounds.
The mayor had previously made headlines two years ago after ordering drug suspects to parade in public, media reported.
According to Romy, a city hall employee, they were singing the national anthem when the deafening sound of a gun shot erupted amid the serene environment.
“We did not realize immediately that it was a gunshot. Only when the other employees started shouting that Mayor [Halili] was shot did we know what was going around,” Romy told the Manila Bulletin. He requested for anonymity out of fear.
“The official was declared dead upon arrival to the hospital,’’ the media concluded, citing police.
Halili became famous in May 2016 when he forced drug suspects to take walks of shame, in spite of protests by human rights groups.
Media had also reported that the mayor was on the watch list over his alleged involvement in the drug trade.