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Batangas town mayor shot dead by unidentified suspects

The municipal mayor of Balete, Batangas was shot dead by unidentified men during a basketball league sponsored by the local government on Saturday morning.

Police Senior Inspector Hazel Parian Luma-ang wrote in a statement that Mayor Leovino Hidalgo was shot once in the head at about 10:30 a.m. by assailants who fled aboard a white van at Brgy. Poblacion, Balete, Batangas.

Balete municipal police recovered from the crime scene what they suspect to be a deformed slug from an M-16 rifle.

Authorities said a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) would be formed to assist in follow-up investigations, while Scene of the Crime Operatives had been tapped for technical assistance.

Oplan Kalasag (Kahandaan Laban sa Sunog at Gabay sa Kaligtasan) was also activated for the entire province of Batangas.

Witnesses or persons with information regarding the case were encouraged to contact the Balete Police Provincial Office at 0926-207-2776 or the Balete Municipal Police Station. — Rie Takumi/MDM, GMA News