Philippines mayor accused by Duterte of drugs trade links shot dead

A Philippine mayor accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of having links with the illegal drugs trade has been shot dead in a police raid.

Reynaldo Parojinog, mayor of the city of Ozamiz on Mindanao island, was killed with his wife and 10 others at his home as police served a warrant.

Officers were fired on by the mayor’s security guards, officials said.

More than 7,000 people are said to have been killed since Mr Duterte launched a war on the drugs trade in July 2016.

Police were serving an arrest warrant when they were “met with a volley of fire” by Mr Parojinog’s security guards, officials said.

“The Parojinogs, if you would recall, are included in President Duterte’s list of people involved in the illegal drug trade,” Mr Duterte’s spokesman, Ernesto Abella, said in a statement.

A spokesman for the Parojinogs denied that there had been any exchange of fire and said the mayor’s camp did not fire a shot.

Mr Parojinog’s brother was also killed in the dawn raid in Ozamiz. His daughter, the city’s vice-mayor, was arrested and faces charges relating to drugs offences, police said.

Officers recovered rifles, cash and illegal drugs at the address, according to provincial police chief Jaysen De Guzman.

Mr Parojinog is the third Philippine mayor to be killed in the government’s bloody narcotics crackdown, in which Mr Duterte has singled out local officials, policemen and judges.

The move has made him popular with many Filipinos but has been condemned by human rights groups and other critics.

Mr Duterte took office just over a year ago following an election campaign in which he promised to kill tens of thousands in order to put an end to the illegal drugs trade.

Earlier this month, legislators in the Philippines voted overwhelmingly to extend martial law in Mindanao to help deal with violence on the island linked to an Islamist insurgency.

Mr Duterte said the extension was necessary to crush the insurgency, but his critics have said that it is part of a wider power grab.