Flag at half-mast in Ilocos Norte town as residents mourn mayor’s death

LAOAG CITY -— The Philippine flag at the hilltop of the municipal town hall of Marcos, Ilocos Norte is flying at half-mast since Monday’s flag raising ceremony as a sign of mourning for slain mayor Arsenio Agustin.

Employees mostly wearing black and white expressed their grief and condolences as they also offered a prayer for the perpetrators of the killing to repent and obtain forgiveness.

Close friends and colleagues of the 61-year-old Agustin described him as happy, friendly, and a down to earth person since he decided to leave a good life in Hawaii for the people of Marcos where he served as mayor starting in 2013.

A self-made businessman and engineer by profession, Agustin spent most of his productive life in Hawaii along with his wife and two children.

During the past election, the police put Marcos town under “election watch list” in view of intense political rivalry between opposing parties.

Even after the election, Agustin’s proclamation as mayor was contested by his rival candidate, then mayor Salvador Pillos who refused to vacate his post in view of an election protest filed against Agustin, questioning his dual citizenship.

As of this posting, Agustin’s remains lie in his residence in Barangay Daquioag, Marcos while waiting for his Hawaii-based children to arrive tomorrow, June 7, at the Laoag International Airport.

According to former Marcos town councilor Ignacio Agustin, his brother’s wife and children want his remains to be flown back to Hawaii for his final resting place.

Agustin was shot dead by a still unidentified gunman in Sitio Cabua-an, Mabuti village while inspecting a dam project on Saturday morning, police report said. LGA/PNA-northboundasia.com