Abdulwahab Sabal, a mayor of Talitay town in Maguindanao province, was shot dead by a lone gunman in Malate, Manila last night, the police announced this morning.
Manila Police District Station 9 said the 45-year-old mayor was gunned down just past 10pm as he was about to check in to a hotel on Quirino Avenue, CNN Philippines reports.
The hotel’s CCTV footage shows that the attacker fired from across the street. According to the police, three shots were fired at the victim as he was unloading his belongings from his vehicle. Sabal was with two others — his wife Mohana and bodyguard Cpl. Alwad Guimad— who were both unhurt in the incident, Manila Bulletin reports.
Authorities also recovered a spent 5.56mm rifle shell casing from the crime scene, which will be subject to ballistic examination, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports. Manila Police responded to the crime scene at around 11:30pm, and the suspect remains at large and has yet to be identified.
In 2016, when Sabal was Talitay vice mayor, he and his brother were included in President Rodrigo Duterte’s list of politicians who were allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade, something which both men have denied. Sabal was arrested and detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City, but was later freed on bail.