Village councilor shot dead in Zamboanga City

MANILA, Philippines – Newly-elected Santa Catalina village councilor Michael Magallanes was shot dead by an unidentified assailant in Zamboanga City early Saturday morning, July 7.

In a text message to Rappler, Zamboanga City police confirmed that the councilor was on his way to a feeding program around 7:20 am aboard his motorcycle when he was shot dead along Betty 2 Drive.

Magallanes was rushed to Zamboanga Doctors Hospital but was pronounced dead after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds. He was 38.

The police did not know the suspects' motive yet after initial investigation.

Magallanes was the president of Rotary Club of Zamboanga City West, and was active in many civic organizations. He was a former village treasurer in 2013, prior to being elected councilor last May.

Another local official, Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan of Trece Martires in Cavite, was also shot dead around 3 pm on Saturday.

Two other mayors were killed on the same week: Antonio Halili of Tanauan City, Batangas, and Ferdinand Bote of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija. (READ: Mayors, vice mayors killed under Duterte gov't)

In a statement on Saturday, Liberal Party president and Senator Francis Pangilinan slammed the recent deaths. 

"What is going on? Are these deliberate and orchestrated attempts at creating an atmosphere of lawlessness to justify strongman rule?" he asked. 

He urged for the Philippine National Police's "swift, sure, and lawful move" to "bring the killers behind bars," as well as their visibility especially in key critical areas "to prevent another bloody incident." –

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.