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Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili shot dead during flag ceremony

Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili was shot dead Monday morning while attending the city hall's flag raising ceremony.

An initial report by dzBB's Rod Vega on Dobol B sa News TV said Halili was in critical condition and was brought to CP Reyes Medical Hospital. A later report said he was declared dead at 8:45 a.m. 

A spot report by the Police Regional Office-4 said Halili was "declared DOA (dead on arrival)" by the attending physician at the CP Reyes Medical Center.

"Iron curtain was activated," the PRO-4 said, meaning dragnet/manhunt operation to arrest the suspect is now ongoing.

A Facebook Live video by Gerry Yson Laresma, Tanauan City Information Officer, showed Halili standing with other city officials while the national anthem was being played when a gunshot was heard.

Raw reports from the scene point at a sniper as a possible culprit in the shooting.

Senior Superintendent Edwin Quilates, Batangas Provincial Police Office (PPO) acting director, said he was on his way to the city hall to oversee investigations.

Chief Superintendent Edward Carranza, Calabarzon police director, said no other person was hurt in the shooting.

Halili is notorious for parading alleged drug suspects in infamous "walks of shame" which courted an investigation by the Commission on Human Rights.

He recently rebranded the "walk of shame" to "walk of change" to encourage rehabilitated drug dependents.

In spite of his harsh stance on drugs, Halili was among the local officials stripped of police power for alleged links to illegal drugs though the mayor adamantly denied involvement in the drug trade—KG/KBK, GMA News