Back­ers of ‘drug pro­tec­tor’ mayor shot dead by cops

The Myanmar Times - - World -

PO­LICE shot dead six sup­port­ers of a Philip­pine mayor yes­ter­day, au­thor­i­ties said, days af­ter Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte threat­ened to have him “shot on sight” for pro­tect­ing his drug-deal­ing son.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple have died since Mr Duterte took power af­ter win­ning a land­slide elec­tion on the pledge to wipe out law­less­ness by killing tens of thousands of crim­i­nals and drug deal­ers.

A gun­fight broke out be­tween law en­force­ment and sup­port­ers of Mayor Rolando Espinosa at dawn in his cen­tral home­town of Al­buera, lo­cal po­lice said.

Six gun­men were killed while po­lice re­cov­ered 17 guns and sev­eral grenades.

On Au­gust 1, Mr Duterte gave the mayor and his son 24 hours to sur­ren­der af­ter two of the mayor’s body­guards and three other em­ploy­ees were ar­rested in a po­lice anti-drug op­er­a­tion.

“Other­wise, the cops will be given an or­der of ‘shoot on sight’ if they re­sist and en­dan­ger the lives of ar­rest­ing po­lice of­fi­cers,” pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son Ernesto Abella said on tele­vi­sion.

Mr Espinosa sur­ren­dered to po­lice on Aug 2, say­ing he feared for his safety af­ter the pres­i­dent threat­ened reprisals for al­legedly cod­dling his drug-deal­ing son.

The mayor “sur­ren­dered to me ... [fol­low­ing] or­ders of the pres­i­dent for him to be shot on sight if he re­sists”, na­tional po­lice chief Ron­ald de la Rosa said.

Po­lice claim to have killed more than 400 sus­pected drug deal­ers since Mr Duterte was elected, al­though the fig­ure could be higher.

The ris­ing body count has shocked the world, and hun­dreds of anti-nar­cotics and hu­man rights groups called for the United Na­tions to con­demn Mr Duterte’s pol­icy. –

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