Manila, Feb 11 (IANS) The mayor of a city in southern Philippines whose name figured in the controversial “narco-list” prepared on the orders of President Rodrigo Duterte, was shot dead in Manila, the police confirmed on Tuesday.
Abdul Wahab Sabal, 45, was shot dead on Monday night at the entrance of a hotel in Manila, just after he arrived there with his wife and security guard, Efe news quoted the police as saying.
Sabal was shot three times, killing him on the spot.
He was the mayor of the Sultan Sumagka municipality in the Muslim-majority Maguindanao province, and his named figured in the controversial list of public officials allegedly involved in drug-trafficking that was prepared by the police on Duterte’s orders when his anti-drug campaign kicked off in 2016.
During Duterte’s term in office, at least 18 councillors and mayors have been assassinated, with many of them figuring in the narco-list, which is based on police suspicions and allegations instead of firm convictions.
Duterte’s controversial war against drugs has led to the killing of around 7,000 suspects – who police claim were resisting arrest – although human rights groups have alleged that as many as 30,000 people have been killed in extra-judicial killings, encouraged by the climate of impunity prevalent in the campaign.
Sabal was also named as a suspect in an explosion in a Davao city market in September 2016, which killed 14 people. He had denied his involvement in the incident.