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Prez Duterte suspects Tanauan mayor Halili’s death involved illegal drug trade

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (REUTERS/Dondi Tawatao/File Photo)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte suspects Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili’s death is related to illegal drugs and his ‘walk of shame’ wherein he paraded suspected addicts and pushers in public.

Mayor Halili was shot dead on Monday morning during the city hall’s flag raising ceremony.

“Kanina si Halili sa Batangas. Kunwari ipa-procession ang mga addicts, siya pala, siya ‘yun,” Duterte said on Monday during his speech at the anniversary of Maasin City, Southern Leyte.  

He also added that he suspected that Halili was involved in illegal drugs.

Before mentioning the slain mayor, Duterte also discussed issues regarding some mayors who allegedly used their position to further engage in illegal drug transactions. He then mentioned Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog and  Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, both were linked to drugs and also died in shootouts by the PNP. However, Espinosa was killed while in government custody.

Halili was among the local government chiefs whose powers over the police were taken away by the National Police Commission after their names were involved in drug trade.

However, Duterte took back his statement claiming Halili was involved in illegal drugs by saying it was just his suspicion. Hours after the murder of the Tanauan Mayor, the Palace condemned the killing and addressed that they will give justice to the family of the bereaved leader of Batangas.

Duterte has repeatedly warned he would “kill” anyone involved in illegal drug trafficking, including local government executives.

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