Philippine police killed a town mayor in his jail cell in a purported gunbattle Saturday, the second killing in a week of a politician linked to illegal drugs under President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal crackdown.
Rolando Espinosa Sr., the mayor of the town of Albuera in the central province of Leyte, and a fellow inmate were shot dead before dawn after they fired at officers who staged a raid in search of firearms and illegal drugs in the provincial jail in Leyte’s Baybay city, police said.
Some officials and an anti-crime watchdog have called for an investigation of the circumstances of the killings, wondering how the mayor and the other inmate got hold of guns and what prompted them to clash with several police officers while in detention.
“Offhand, I can smell extrajudicial killing,” said Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former national police chief, adding that the suspicious deaths were the “biggest challenge” to the credibility of the national police force, which is undertaking the anti-drug crackdown.
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