Police looking into work, alleged drug ties of Los Baños mayor as motive for killing

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 4) — The Laguna Provincial Police said Friday it is looking into the possible motives for the killing of Los Baños Mayor Caesar Perez, including his line of work and his alleged ties to the illegal drug trade.

Perez was shot at least twice in the head by an unknown number of assailants inside the municipal hall on Thursday night. The 66-year-old official was declared dead shortly after being rushed to the hospital.

Laguna Provincial Police spokesperson Lt. Col. Chitadel Gaoiran said they have not yet identified the motive.

"We are looking if this is related to his work as a mayor, and of course the angle with regards to his alleged being part of the narco list," she told CNN Philippines.

Perez was part of the list of local politicians with alleged links to the drug trade that was bared by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019. Perez, in a TV interview, denied the drug ties and said the allegations were "politically motivated."

Laguna Governor Ramil Hernandez on Friday revealed that Perez had been receiving death threats in the past few months.

"Wala akong naririnig sa kanya na may particular individual na nagbabanta sa kanya, Hernandez told CNN Philippines. "Aware naman siyang may threat sa kanya."

[Translation: I didn't hear him mention any particular person who had been sending him threats. But he was aware that there were threats.]

Police said there were no witnesses who can clearly say how many gunmen were involved in the incident and how many shots were fired. Authorities are still trying to obtain security camera footage around the municipal complex, but the CCTV in the crime scene was broken during the incident.

A special investigation task group has been formed to look into the execution.