A Philippines mayor who gained notoriety for implementing a “walk of shame” parade for drug dealers in his city was shot dead by a single bullet during a flag-raising ceremony Monday, police said.
Tanauan Mayor Antonio Cando Halili was pronounced dead as he arrived at a local hospital, according to Reuters. He suffered the gunshot wound as he and other officials sang the national anthem.
“We are shocked, we are saddened,” Vice Mayor Jhoanna Villamor told radio station DZBB.
Halili was shot in the chest. A video of the shooting reportedly went viral on social media. A single shot could be heard as the anthem played with chaos following the shooting, Reuters reported.
Halili’s supervisory powers over police were removed in October due to an increase of drugs in his city and he was accused by national police of being involved in the influx. He denied the allegations.
Halili also backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs in a 2016 interview – though he said that the targets should be on the drug lords themselves.
“No one is safe – mayors, governors, congressmen – just a false intelligence report by the police can end up with any of them being destroyed,” he told Reuters at the time.
More than 4,200 suspected drug dealers have been killed since Duterte launched his war on narcotics, police said.