Palace condemns killing of Tanauan mayor

MANILA – Malacañang on Monday condemned the killing of Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili, vowing to leave no stone unturned in finding justice for his death.

“We condemned this kind of violence,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing in Maasin, Leyte.

According to media reports, Halili was shot dead by a sniper while attending Monday’s traditional flag-raising ceremony.

Halili was rushed to the hospital but declared dead an hour later due to a gunshot wound to his chest.

Roque assured that the government will provide fast investigation and resolution on Halili’s killing.

“The Palace promised that justice will be given for his death. There will be fast investigation and hearing for the responsible people in this killing,” Roque said.

Roque said he was personally really shocked by Halili’s murder since Tanauan was one of the peaceful and progressive cities in Batangas province.

“I have personal friendship with this mayor and I was really shocked by this news because we all know that Tanuan is peaceful. They have so many industries and it is really sad that this violence occurred in Tanuan,” he said in an interview with radio news network.

Roque extended the Palace’s sincerest condolences to the family of Halili.

“We expressed our deepest condolences to the family of Mayor (Halili) and to the whole city of Tanuan in the province of Batangas,” he said.

Halili drew national attention for his “shame campaign”, wherein he paraded crime and drug suspects as one measure to rid his city of unlawful activities.

However, the Tanauan mayor’s police power was removed by the National Police Commission (Napolcom) after his name was included on the narco-list. Napolcom is under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). Halili had denied the accusation.

Roque said it is too early to conclude if Halili’s murder has something to do with his inclusion on the narco list.

“I don’t know the relation of his death on drug-list. There is a record that his name was on the narco-list. But I think, there is no basis to conclude now because there is still no investigation. Let’s wait for the investigation,” he said.