By Aaron Recuenco
A motorcycle-riding assassin killed the mayor of General Tinio town of Nueva Ecija when they repeatedly shot his vehicle in Cabanatuan City Tuesday afternoon, the second local chief executive assassinated in just a span of two days.
The assassination of Mayor Ferdinand Bote occurred a day after a sniper shot killed Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili while attending a flag-raising ceremony in front of their City Hall in Batangas.
Director General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the 57-year old Bote was declared dead on arrival at the MV Gallego Hospital in Cabanatuan City.
Bote was on board his car, a Toyota Fortuner with license plate AAB 2020, and was reportedly on his way home after visiting a regional office of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) when a lone gunman reportedly shot the window of the passenger seat beside the driver’s seat where he was sitting.
A Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage on the main entrance of the NIA compound showed that the car boarding Mayor Bote had just gone out of a compound of a government agency and made a brief stop before going to the Maharlika Highway when a lone gunman repeatedly shot the car.
The CCTV footage also showed that Mayor Bote’s driver was still able to drive the car away from the gunman.
The gunman fled after the shooting on board a motorcycle. It was not immediately known if he drove the motorcycle or he was fetched by an accomplice.
Mayor Bote was the 10th mayors killed since President Duterte assumed the presidency in July 2016. Duterte, it was recalled, vowed to run after local executives who are involved in illegal drugs trade.
Among those mayors who died are Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa; Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao Mayor Samsudim Dimaukom; Balete, Batangas Mayor Leovino Hidalgo; Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog; and the recent was Mayor Halili of Tanauan City in Batangas.
Bote, on the other hand, was reportedly not included in the list.