Dramatic footage has emerged from Tanauan City in The Philippines where Mayor Antonio Halili was shot dead by a sniper during a flag raising ceremony. While Halili presented himself as being a Duterte style zero-tolerance opponent of drugs, having famously made drug users march in “walks of shame” through the city, Antonio Halili was not all that he seemed.
A regional police chief has confirmed that in spite of his public rhetoric, the slain mayor was involved in the drug trade himself. While police look for the murderer, many are already suspecting that like many other public officials, Halili ended up a victim of the very drug culture that he protested against yet was thought to be heavily involved in. Speaking shortly after the murder, President Rodrigo Duterte stated that the incident confirmed his suspicion that Halili was in fact involved with drugs and that the “walks of shame” were merely “a front” as the Philippine President called it.
As of March 2018, 469 public officials have been arrested in connection with the narco-trade. Had Halili, a man whose behaviour indicated that he did not want a reputation for nefarious dealings been arrested and brought to justice for his alleged connections to criminal activity, he may well have offered officials the names of other public servants who have negated their duty to the people and instead have sought to enrich themselves on the black market.
As President Duterte warned on many occasions, those caught up in the drug trade often meet a gruesome end as like many black markets, the criminal element involved in the proliferation of drugs often becomes a law onto itself – ultimately eating its own. While some unhinged Duterte critics on social medias are already seeking to blame Duterte and his administration for the murder, this is not only insulting but defies basic logical principles.
Halili would have been far more valuable to the administration were he alive and allowed to give evidence before police or testimony before a court than he is now that he was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital. It has always been Duterte’s aim to take as many criminal suspects alive as possible as they could offer valuable information about the chain of criminality throughout the wider narco-network.
Inversely, it would behove those who stood to get exposed by the prospective testimony of Halili to make it so that he could not speak. This has now been achieved. Therefore, the most obvious culprit in the murder is someone who personally stood to lose if Halili started to talk about his own connections to the drug world, or otherwise someone who employed the sniper in order to make it so that a dead man would tell no tales.
Once again, Duterte’s critics have themselves been exposed by fundamental rational thinking – something they seem increasingly incapable of. Whoever killed Halili likey knew that the mayor had knowledge of something that the criminal element in society wanted to remain concealed.
As those involved in the narcotics market realise that under the Duterte administration that their time is up, it has become inevitable that they are turning against their own.