By Aaron Recuenco
Police investigators are eyeing local politics as the reason behind the assassination of a Tawi-Tawi town vice mayor in Zamboanga City late Thursday afternoon.
Director General Oscar Albayalde, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the initial investigation revealed that there is no other reason so far that would prompt anybody to have Al-Rashid Mohammad Ali killed.
Ali, he said, is a last termer for vice mayor of the Sapa-Sapa town of Tawi-Tawi and is being groomed to replace his father, the incumbent mayor of the same town.
“Even the family is saying that they see no other reason but local politics because he is the possible mayoralty candidate in next year’s elections,” said Albayalde.
Ali, accompanied by his wife and police security escort, was repeatedly shot by a lone gunman on Gov. Alvarez in Camino Nueva, Zamboanga City at around 5 p.m. while on board a vehicle.
Aside from Ali, also wounded was his police escort identified as PO1 Abdulmurib Hadjirul. The attacker fled using a motorcycle.
The incidents of killings targeting local executives have prompted the PNP leadership to order police commanders to prepare early election security plan and to go after gun-for-hire syndicates.
Albayalde said the move is a preventive measure since killings of local officials are usually prevalent before, during, and after election period.
Read more: Tawi-Tawi vice mayor killed in ambush