6 bodyguards of Philippine mayor shot dead in drive against drugs

(From AP)

Philippine police commandos clashed Wednesday with the armed bodyguards of a town mayor linked to illegal drugs, killing six in the latest deaths in a bloody crackdown that President Rodrigo Duterte said he would not halt even at the risk of losing his presidency.

 Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr.

Rolando Espinosa, Sr.

Regional police chief Elmer Beltejar said police were patrolling near the house of Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. in the central town of Albuera when they were fired upon by the mayor’s bodyguards. The police fired back, killing six bodyguards, he said.

Read: After ‘narco’ mayor’s surrender, Philippine police hunt for his fugitive son

The clash came a day after Espinosa surrendered to national police chief Ronald dela Rosa. Authorities allege he has been protecting drug dealers, including his son Erwin, whom he urged to surrender.

Espinosa surrendered within a 24-hour deadline given to him by Duterte before a “shoot-on-sight order” would be issued against him and his son. Dela Rosa warned that the younger Espinosa “will die” if he elects to shoot it out with police. Read More

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