Philippine mayor shot dead in jail
A PHILIPPINE mayor President Rodrigo Duterte named as being involved in the illegal drug trade was shot dead in jail, police said, the second local official implicated in narcotics to be killed in two weeks.
Mr Duterte, 71, has launched an unprecedented war on drugs that has left more than 4000 dead.
He had named several local officials, police and judges as being involved in the narcotics trade and urged them to surrender.
In August, he accused Rolando Espinosa, the mayor of Albuera town in the central island of Leyte, and his son of drug trafficking and demanded they turn themselves in, giving police a “shoot on sight” order if the two resisted arrest.
Mayor Espinosa then surrendered to the national police chief, saying he feared for his life and was arrested last month.
But police said Mr Espinosa was killed in his cell in the provincial jail after he shot at officers during a search for illegal firearms.
“He fired on the raiding team. The raiding team fired back and this led to the mayor’s death,” chief inspector Leo Laraga of the regional police told AFP on November 5.
The national police said it was investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr Espinosa’s death as well as possible collusion between guards and inmates to get guns and drugs into the jail.
Police chief Ronald dela Rosa previously said Mr Espinosa had been listed as a “drug protector”, whose son Kerwin controlled the narcotics trade in the Albuera region.
Mr Kerwin was arrested in the United Arab Emirates last month and is set to return to the Philippines to face drug trafficking charges.
Another mayor accused of drug trafficking was killed in the southern Philippines in late October.
Police said Samsudin Dimaukom and his security personnel opened fire after anti-narcotics police stopped their vehicles at a checkpoint on suspicion they were transporting illegal drugs. –