MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Police killed the central Philippine mayor and two aides, while two police officers were killed in the latest violence involving the police force, officials said Tuesday.
“I can only assume that this is a false confrontation,” said Regional Police Commissioner General Ronaldo de Jesus, according to a preliminary police report.
Police carried out regular patrol when they were fired Monday afternoon by Catbalogan Mayor Ronaldo Aquino’s security assistant, who was driven in a van in eastern Samar province, according to the police. Report of Jesus
Instead, police shot and killed Aquino and his two aides, including a police bodyguard, while the mayor̵7;s aide killed two police officers who drove behind the mayor’s van, he said.
“They were suspicious and opened fire to our police and our forces responded,” De Jesus told reporters, adding that the investigation was ongoing.
Video shortly after the attack showed villagers biting Aquino’s white van, its windows shattered by the sound of gunshots and a van full of bullet holes. Ammunition was shot littering the scene in the middle of the bridge.
Aquino’s friend Edgar Sarmiento said the mayor, who was on his way to his son’s birthday celebration, could have been a target, but de Jesus said police were not following Aquino and was merely on regular patrol.
“It is well planned. After the van stopped, it was hit immediately. It’s good that they can retaliate, ”Sharmiento told DZMM radio in tears.“ We are in a pandemic and things like this are still happening. ”
Several mayors and provincial officials linked to illicit drugs were ambushed and killed by an unnamed gunman under President Rodrigo Duterte, who oversees a deadly drug crackdown, which This has alarmed Western governments and human rights watchdogs. But Sarmiento said Aquino had nothing to do with the illegal drug trade.
Monday’s deadly violence was the latest in a string of police events.
Over the weekend, military-backed police killed nine people in raids on suspected communist insurgents in four provinces near Manila. Police officers said the suspect opened fire first. But the left said the victims were unarmed activists.
The Justice Department was ordered to investigate the deaths condemned by the left and human rights groups.
Two weeks ago, police and representatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Administration were armed with assault rifles and handguns in a gun fight outside a shopping mall amid blatantly false clashes as each side took action. Anti drug separately Three law enforcement and the government drug broadcaster have died in heavy trade-offs.
Many were trapped in nearby malls as a result of a close battle, causing traffic jams and large numbers of residents, commuters and shoppers.