A FILIPINO town mayor who was detained has been killed in his jail cell, say Philippine police, during a purported gunbattle with officers. The death of Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. is the second killing in a week of a politician linked to illegal drugs under President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on drug dealers.
Police say Rolando, who was mayor of Albuera town in the central island province of Leyte, and a fellow inmate were shot dead before dawn on Saturday. According to reports, Rolando and the other inmate opened fire at officers who staged a raid in search of firearms and illegal drugs.
Rolando was arrested in October, before police arrested his son Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. on suspicion of being drug lord. Prior to the arrest, Duterte accused the Espinosa family of running a narcotics syndicate in Visayas, and issued a shoot-to-kill order against Kerwin.
Last week, police killed another town mayor, Samsudin Dimaukom, and nine of his men allegedly in a gunbattle in the southern Philippines.
Espinosa and Dimaukom were among more than 160 officials named publicly by Duterte in August as part of a shame campaign.