Moments before the fatal shooting on Monday, Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili was seen interacting with his constituents before the Philippine National Anthem was sung at the city hall.
A Facebook Live video by Gerry Yson Laresma, Tanauan City public information office chief, caught the mayor candidly speaking with other officials at the new city hall in Barangay Natatas before the anthem played.
The camera turned away from the mayor midway through the video and caught the moment a gunshot burst through at 8:10 a.m. and caused panic, promptly ending the video.
Halili was declared dead on arrival at 8:45 a.m. at the C.P. Reyes Medical Center by the attending physician.
Police Regional Office 4-A immediately activated a manhunt for the suspect. Investigation is ongoing.
Tanauan City, Batangas Mayor Antonio Halili, who has initiated the walk of shame campaign for suspected drug pushers and users, was shot dead by an unidentified gunman during a flag raising ceremony in his city Monday.
A Facebook live video of the flag-raising ceremony showed the mayor and city hall employees halfway done singing the national anthem "Lupang Hinirang" when one gunshot rang causing a commotion. Tanauan City Public Information Officer Gerry Laresma, who was taking the live video, said they were about to finish singing the national anthem when they heard the gunshot that hit Halili around 8:10 a.m.
Halili was declared dead on arrival at CP Reyes Hospital after sustaining a single gunshot wound on his chest, the Batangas Police Provincial Office said.
In a radio interview, Calabarzon police chief Superintendent Edward Carranza said Halili could have been shot by a sniper.
"We immediately formed a task force to handle the case," Carranza said.
Laresma said the mayor had been continuously receiving death threats after launching an intensive crackdown on drugs in the city.
He was known for parading alleged drug personalities around the city while bearing a sign or wearing shirts identifying them as drug pushers.
Halili was also stripped from police control after alleged links to the drug trade which he had vehemently denied.
Source: GMA and PhilStar
WATCH | Controversial Tanauan Mayor Halili shot dead during flag-raising ceremony
4/ 5Oleh BNP Correspondent