Los Baños mayor shot at municipal hall, dies in hospital
Mayor Caesar Perez, 66, was walking toward the receiving area of the town hall building in Barangay Batong Malake when an unidentified gunman shot him twice in the head at around 8:45 p.m., according to the Laguna police.
Municipal Government of Los Baños Facebook page

Los Baños mayor shot at municipal hall, dies in hospital

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - December 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Mayor Caesar Perez of Los Baños, Laguna, who was included in President Duterte’s narco list of officials linked to the illegal drug trade, was shot inside the municipal compound on Thursday night.

Perez, 66, was walking toward the receiving area of the town hall building in Barangay Batong Malake when an unidentified gunman shot him twice in the head at around 8:45 p.m., according to the Laguna police.

Perez had just had a massage at a spa in Barangay Baybayin before going back to the municipal hall.

He was rushed to the HealthServ Los Baños Medical Center where he was declared dead by doctors at around 9:25 p.m.

Malacañang condemned yesterday the killing of Mayor Perez.

“We condemn the killing of the mayor,” chief presidential legal adviser Salvador Panelo said during his program aired over state-run PTV-4.

Panelo insinuated that the killing could be politically motivated, telling Perez’s killers that they should have waited for the elections rather than resort to violence.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año has ordered the police to identify and arrest the people behind the mayor’s murder.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas yesterday ordered an in-depth investigation on the murder of Perez.

“Exhaust all means to get to the bottom of the case and serve justice to the slain local executive,” Sinas said in a statement.

Sinas said investigators are reviewing all video footage of security cameras around the municipal hall complex and surrounding establishments.

There are no persons of interest yet in the murder of the mayor, according to PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana, but probers are exerting efforts to identify the suspects.

Perez was included in Duterte’s list of local officials with suspected links to illegal drugs, an allegation that the mayor had vehemently denied.

Lt. Col Chitadel Gaoiran, Laguna police public information head and also police chief of Sta. Cruz, Laguna, said Special Investigation Task Group Perez was formed to handle the case.

She said the task group will be headed by Lt. Col. Jesson Bombasi, deputy provincial director for operations, with the Laguna-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Provincial Intelligence Unit, Scene of the Crime Operatives as support units.

Gaoiran said probers are eyeing politics as one of the angles because the mayor was a politician.

She said no one saw the mayor being shot at the receiving area inside the town hall.

Because Perez was included in the narco list, he was stripped of police power.

A brother of the mayor who was engaged in illegal drug activities had been killed earlier by unidentified armed men in San Pablo City, Laguna.

Laguna Gov. Ramil Hernandez condemned the killing and expressed his sympathy to the Perez family.

Hernandez said the slain mayor had told him that he was aware of threats to his life.

The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) has condemned the brazen killing of Mayor Perez.

In a statement, the university called on authorities to immediately bring to justice the death of Perez, who it described as an ally and supporter of UPLB in carrying its mandate in instruction, research and extension programs.

“He unfailingly helped facilitate the implementation of our activities and programs and provided the resources that we requested from him,” read the statement.

“He helped keep our campus secure and free from criminal elements through a partnership that we have nurtured with the local government of Los Baños and the barangays where the UPLB campus is located,” it added.

The university said Perez’s killing is an affront to human rights and appealed to residents “to denounce this utter disregard for judicial processes.”

“With this, we express our deepest condolences to the people that Mayor Perez left behind – his immediate family and the Los Baños community. The UPLB community mourns with you,” it added. – Christina Mendez, Janvic Mateo, Ed Amoroso, Arnell Ozaeta

DEAD MAYOR
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