GUNNED DOWN

Philippine City Mayor Shot Dead by Sniper at Public Event

A Philippine city mayor has been shot dead by a sniper in front of more than a hundred witnesses in a brazen attack during a flag-raising ceremony. A single gunshot to the chest killed Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan city in Batangas province, south of Manila, as he and newly elected village leaders sang the national anthem with a crowd of employees in a parking lot outside the city hall. The gunman escaped, according to police officials. Witnesses told the Associated Press that the mayor’s bodyguards opened fire toward a grassy hill where the gunshot was apparently fired. An unverified cellphone video shows men standing around the fallen Halili as gunfire rings out, with one yelling: “The mayor is dead, the mayor was shot.” Halili gained prominence for introducing a “walk of shame” parade through his city for alleged drug dealers, who were forced to wear cardboard signs identifying them as drug pushers. Police officials, however, also linked Halili to illegal drugs—an allegation he strongly denied.