Allegation that gov't behind Halili's slay is speculation, Palace says
Malacanang downplayed on Thursday an allegation that the government could be behind the killing of Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili.
Senator Panfilo Lacson has said Halili's family believed the government might be involved in the slaying of the local official.
"Well, that's speculation. Unfounded at that because apparently there are different aspects of investigation regarding Halili's (case) and there is that aspect that it is still borne out of the drug trade. That's one of the angles that they are looking out although there are two other angles, politics and business," he said.
Halili was included in the government's narco-list.
Asked if the narco-list was also a "kill list," Roque said, "No, because there's no mandate to kill them."
Meanwhile, Roque said Interior and Local Government OIC-Secretary Eduardo Ano and Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde have vowed to continue with the dialogue with the local officials after they raised concern over the killings of two mayors in two successive days.
After Halili was killed last Monday, Mayor Ferdinand Bote of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija was also shot dead in Cabanatuan City on the following day.
Officials of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines had a dialogue on Wednesday with Ano and Albayalde to raise their alarm and concern.
Roque said one of the concerns raised by ULAP was the "vetting process" of those included in the narco-list.
Duterte earlier said that thousands of local officials have been included in the narco-list or those involved in illegal drugs. Celerina Monte/DMS