WHAT WENT BEFORE: Slain public officials
A dozen mayors and seven vice mayors, including the latest victim, Balaoan, La Union, Vice Mayor Al-Fred Concepcion, have been gunned down since President Duterte assumed office in June 2016.
The other vice mayors were Jonnah John Ungab of Ronda town, Cebu province, who was a lawyer of confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa Jr.; Alexander Lubigan of Trece Martires, Cavite; Aaron Sampaga of Pamplona, Cagayan; Anwar Sindatuk of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao; Jackson Cinco Dy of Roxas, Oriental Mindoro; and Al Rashid Mohammad Ali of Sapa Sapa, Tawi-Tawi.
Five of the mayors killed were on Mr. Duterte’s “narcolist”: Mariano Blanco III of Ronda, Cebu; Antonio Halili of Tanauan, Batangas; Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao; Rolando Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte; and Reynaldo Parojinog Sr. of Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental.
The other mayors who were shot dead but not previously linked to illegal drugs were Mohammad Exchan Gabriel Limbona of Pantar, Lanao del Norte; Arsenio Agustin of Marcos, Ilocos Norte; Gisela Boniel of Bien Unido, Bohol; Leovino Hidalgo of Balete, Batangas; Ronald Lowell Genson Tirol of Buenavista, Bohol; and Ferdinand Bote of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija; and Mayor Alexander Buquing of Sudipen town, La Union.
On Oct. 8, the Philippine National Police disclosed an initial list of barangay “hot spots” or “areas of concern” that may be susceptible to violence in next year’s midterm elections.
PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde said a total of 7,915 barangays in 896 cities and municipalities in 72 provinces were considered “election hot spots,” just as they all were during the barangay elections in May.
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao had the most number of hot spots with 1,415 barangays, followed by Bicol region with 1,304.
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