Los Baños, Laguna mayor shot dead by unknown gunmen
This photo from the Municipal Government of Los Baños Facebook page shows Mayor Cesar Perez at a seminar.
Municipal Government of Los Baños Facebook page

Los Baños, Laguna mayor shot dead by unknown gunmen

Arnell Ozaeta (Philstar.com) - December 4, 2020 - 1:23pm

LAGUNA, Philippines — Los Baños Mayor Cesar Perez was shot dead by unidentified gunmen inside the municipal compound Thursday evening, police said.

Police Lt. Col. Chitadel Gaoiran, Laguna Police Provincial Office spokesperson, said the 66-year-old Perez had just finished getting a massage at a nearby spa and was walking towards the municipal hall in Barangay Timugan when he was shot twice in the head around 8:45 p.m.

The Philippine National Police said it is still looking for leads on who shot the mayor.

"We have not yet yet received any material information as regards the identity of persons responsible for the death of Mayor Perez. There are no persons of interest either," Police Brig. Gen. Ildebrandi Usana, PNP spokesperson, said Friday.

The mayor's shooters are at large.

Perez, who also served as vice-governor of Laguna was among the 46 "narco politicians" named by President Rodrigo Duterte and faced complaints filed against him by the Department of the Interior and Local Government in 2019. 

Local politicians named in the supposed "narco lists" have approached the police or the president himself to clear themselves of the allegations. 

Rep. Vicente Veloso (3rd District, Leyte), who was included in one list, petitioned the court over his inclusion on the government’s "narco list". In a decision made public in October the Court of Appeals' Former Special Eighth Division ordered law enforcement agencies to produce and submit data and information regarding Veloso over his inclusion on the "narco list."  

In December 2017, Perez was stripped of his powers over the local police because of his alleged involvement in illegal drugs. 

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

In a statement on Perez's murder, Akbayan chair emeritus Etta Rosales said that 20 local government officials have been killed since 2016, adding that this reflects a culture of impunity under the Duterte administration.

"Under Duterte's watch, nobody is safe from the pandemic of extrajudicial killings. Lawyers, human rights defenders, media practitioners, farmers, even local politicians are killed in broad daylight," Rosales also said.

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