Antonio Halili
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: 72
  • Occupation: mayor of Tanauan
Incident Details
  • Killed by unknown assailants in public
  • Date of Incident: July 2, 2018
  • Time of Incident: 8:10 am
  • Location of Incident: Tanauan City, Batangas

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 3) — The head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) insisted slain Tanauan Mayor Antonio Halili was part of an illegal drug trade group, which may have been the motive for his assassination.
“Involved siya sa illegal drugs. Meron siyang drug group kung saan siya nasasangkot. Meron din siyang affiliation sa isang mayor dito sa Central Luzon na nago-operate dito sa Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Nueva Ecija,” PDEA Chief Director General Aaron Aquino told CNN Philippines on Tuesday.
He said the mayor, who was assassinated during his city’s flag-raising rites on Monday, has been on PDEA’s drug watchlist since 2016. He said the narcolist is updated and validated every month and submitted to the Office of the President. Halili’s police powers were withdrawn late 2017 because of his alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
Aquino added the accusations against Halili are backed by consolidated information from PDEA, the police, and the Armed Forces.
For the PDEA Chief, he personally believes Halili’s assassination is not motivated by his “Walk of Shame” campaign against the drug suspects in the city.
“Sa aking tingin, ‘yung nadadawit siya sa shame campaign, malabo ‘yun. Malamang hindi yun ang ugat ng pagkakamatay niya. Ang tinitignan ko personally either politically motivated and pagkamatay niya o his involvement in illegal drugs, dalawa lang ‘yan,” he said.
The Philippine National Police Calabarzon Regional Chief Superintendent Edward Carranza on Tuesday said they have no suspect in the killing yet, but they have three persons of interest, two of which are drug-related. He said they are also looking into the possibility it is a politically-motivated attack.
“We’re looking at every possible angle to solve the Halili murder case… Mukhang related po sa involvement sa illegal drugs,” Carranza said.
He said they believe the lone unidentified gunman is someone who is familiar with the use of a long firearm, adding the gunman was possibly with a “spotter” during the incident.
The daughter of the slain mayor vehemently denied her father was a drug lord nor a protector of the illegal drugs trade.
“It’s hilarious actually kung iisipin ko. I’m not afraid. It’s ridiculous, pathetic for these people to accuse my father as a drug lord. My father would rather die than be a drug lord. Look where he is now. I know my father, mas gugustuhin nya ganon siya kaysa maging drug lord sya, so please, yung mga tao, na naniniwala, o nagpupumilit, e, wow. Give yourself some credit,” she said during the wake of her late father.
Duterte fed with lies – Halili family
Duterte on Monday said he suspects drug ties could be behind the assassination of the controversial mayor. He added Halili’s “Walk of Shame” campaign against drug suspects was just a “front and pretense” for his illegal dealings. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday said Duterte’s remark was merely a “suspicion and awaiting investigation,” but he insisted Halili was a “narcopolitician.”
Angeline said she doesn’t blame Duterte for his remarks because he was fed with the wrong information about his father.
“It’s a lie. You hear about it everyday, and it sticks to you. I cannot blame (him) for saying all these things, for saying what he said, because of the things he’s been told everyday about my father,” she said.
She said all of her family’s dealings are above board.
“I can declare all our businesses. Bakit namin itatago just to justify where all these came from, the history, kung saan kami nakakuha, kung paano kami nagkabahay dito. We had a contrustruction business. We had lumbering. Yung narra dati, legal, tapos naging iligal,” Angeline said.
She invited Duterte to attend the wake of Halili in their family compound to observe their way of life.
“Sir, it would be our honor. Wala po kaming tinatago sa inyo, maayos yung pamumuhay namin na matino, at legal, kung gusto nyo pong bumisita sa opisina, sa bahay namin, kung paano kami nabubuhay, our livelihood, our day to day life, if you want to observe sir, you’re welcome,” she said.
Although she insisted her father was not involved in the drug trade, she believes the controversial parading of drug suspects around the city could be one of the reasons why her father was assassinated. She said he has been receiving a lot of death threats.
Roque said if there is truth to the allegations of his drug links, his murder will still be accorded a thorough investigation.
“Everyone is pointing a finger all over the place… Perhaps it’s also drug lords behind it because of the ‘Walk of Shame,’ but let’s give authorities the opportunity to investigate this inside out,” he told CNN Philippines’ The Source.
The Tanauan, Batangas mayor was shot dead on Monday as he presided over the flag ceremony on the grounds of the city hall. The bullet hit Halili’s cellphone first before going through the right side of his chest.
The National Bureau of Investigation and the Palace are also investigating the murder of Halili.