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More public figures shot dead

The Philippines is shocked by news of the latest deadly shootings of public figures.

The Philippine police claims that a mayor had ordered the killing of a congressman who was gunned down just before Christmas, and that one of the men he hired to carry out the assassination had been arrested.

At press time, the police said they would seek to arrest Carlwyn Baldo, mayor of the city of Daraga, whom they accused of arranging the Dec. 22 killing of Rodel Batocabe, a member of the Philippine House of Representatives and an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Mr Batocabe was leaving Congress and had announced his intention to run against Mr Baldo in Daraga’s mayoral election in May. Orlando Diaz, a police officer who was guarding Mr. Batocabe, was shot and killed along with the congressman at a gift-giving ceremony for senior citizens in Daraga, a city of 125,000 in Albay Province, southeast of Manila.

Meanwhile, a former town mayor in the Philippines and his brother have been killed in separate shootouts with the police.

Talib Abo, ex-mayor of Parang town in Maguindanao province, was shot in his home by officers on Friday during an anti-drug operation in the southern Cotabato City. His brother Bobby was also killed in a similar pre-dawn raid.

Police and anti-drug agents were serving search warrants when the brothers allegedly resisted and shot at the authorities.

Mr Duterte had accused Mr Abo of being a narco-politician as far back as 2006, linking him to the transport of 3.5kgs of crystal methamphetamine, locally called shabu, to Davao City in an ambulance. Mr Abo had denied the allegations and claimed that political rivals were behind the accusations.

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