MANILA, Philippines — A mayor from southern Philippines who was in Malacañang’s list of local officials involved in the illegal drug trade was killed for yet unknown reasons as he was coming in to a hotel in Malate, Manila on Monday night.
Officials of the Manila Police District (MPD) investigating the case, highly considers politics as one of the motives in the killing of Mayor Abdul Wahab Sabal of Talitay, Maguindanao.
The 45-year-old town executive and wife Mohana and police bodyguard Cpl. Alwal Guimad had just alighted from his Toyota Fortuner and about to enter Mannra Hotel when the shooting happened at around 10 p.m. Monday night.
The hotel is located at the corner of Quirino and Leveriza streets in Malate.
Footages from the hotel’s closed-circuit television showed people frantically trying to seek cover as shots were fired and Sabal suddenly slumped onto the hotel glass door as he desperately tried to enter the establishment.
MPD homicide chief Capt. Henry Navarro said his men recovered a spent 5.56mm shell across the street, which means the gunman could have used a rifle with a scope.
The homicide chief claimed the perpetrator could be a sharpshooter as the victim suffered clean gunshot wounds in the neck and chest.
It was gathered that Sabal had come from a meeting of local executives at the Okada Manila Hotel when the incident happened.
Sabal is included in Malacanang’s narco list. He was charged before the Department of Justice in September 2016.
Three years later, Duterte again named Sabal, a former police officer, in his list in March 2019 while he was a vice mayor and his brother Muntasir was then mayor.
Sabal was arrested by the police’s anti-illegal drugs group while walking out of the Awang Airport in the province of Datu Odin Sinsuat in August 2019.
Sabal’s brother was also arrested during a raid on his house where authorities recovered dozens of firearms, including mortars, caliber .50 machine guns and grenade launchers, but he managed to go free and was even elected vice mayor.
Muntasir is now in hiding.
A lawyer of the slain politician denied that Sabal was involved in illegal drugs. (IAMIGO/sovereignph.com)