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Sniper kills Philippines mayor during ceremony

Antonio Halili, a controversial mayor in the Philippines, was shot dead by a sniper during a flag-raising ceremony.

Posted: Jul 3, 2018 12:16 PM
Updated: Jul 3, 2018 12:46 PM

A second town mayor in the Philippines has been shot and killed by an unknown assailant, a day after one was assassinated by a sniper in a brazen daylight attack.

Mayor Ferdinand Bote of the town of General Tinio in Nueva Ecija province was gunned down by a motorcycle-riding suspect in nearby Cabanatuan City on Tuesday afternoon, police told CNN Philippines.

Bote appears to have been the victim of a drive-by shooting, in which he was struck multiple times, while riding in his beige Toyota Fortuner, according to the police report.

Bote was declared dead on arrival at MV Gallego hospital and an investigation has been launched.

"We assure everyone that we would discharge the state obligation for every murder. We will spare no effort in getting to the bottom of this latest violent crime," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

The killing comes just over 24 hours after Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili was killed by a single shot to the chest while attending a flag-raising ceremony.

Halili was a controversial ally of President Rodrigo Duterte who gained notoriety for his policy of parading people arrested for drug offenses.

It was revealed Monday that Halili had been stripped of his authority over local police in October 2017 on an order from the Department of Interior, according to Police Chief Superintendent Renato Mercado.

He also appeared to have been placed on a "narco list" -- a list of people allegedly associated with the drug trade -- by the National Police Commission, Philippines News Agency reported. But, according to CNN Philippines, the administration had been provided with incorrect information, his family said.

It is unclear if the two deaths are linked.

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