Mayor Carlito Pentecostes Jr. of Gonzaga, Cagayan Province was gunned down by suspected NPA rebels during the flag ceremony on Monday morning, police said.
Senior Superintendent Gregorio Lim, Cagayan provincial police chief said the mayor was about to deliver a speech when two men approached him and opened fire, according to a report on GMA News Online.
The mayor died from at least three gunshot wounds. Two of his security personnel were also killed.
Lim alleged that the gunmen were among suspected New People’s Army members present during the flag-raising ceremony.
He also said the police are looking into the possibility that the killing may be linked to alleged black sand mining in the area, which the NPA is strongly protesting.
Pursuit operations are ongoing.