TANAUAN CITY, Batangas - A day after Mayor Antonio Halili was shot dead in front of his constituents, his family still cannot accept what happened and they take exception to President Rodrigo Duterte's recent tirades.
Angeline Halili, the mayor's second child, recalled his father as someone who lived a simple life, a hard working man who started making a living when he was 16.
"Lahat gagawin niya para sa amin, kahit magtinda lang ng tinapay o ng dyaryo. My father lived a simple life. We came from a very simple family. Hindi naman kami nagsimula ng ganito e. Sixteen years old pa lang ang dad ko nagba-biyahe mula Isabela hanggang Manila, nagbebenta ng gulay," she said.
(He would do anything for us, even selling bread or newspaper. My father lived a simple life. We came from a very simple family. We didn't start this way. At 16, my Dad would travel from Isabela to Manila to sell vegetables.)
She also believes there is no way her father would be involved in illegal drugs, adding that the slain local chief executive put together many different projects to eliminate drugs in the city.
"My father would rather die than be a drug lord. And see where he is right now. Hindi pa ba proof?" she said.
On the president's statement about the possibility that Halili's death is because of illegal drugs, Angeline believes that it really is because of illegal drugs but that it isn't the way they think.
"It's related to drugs but not the way they make it sound. Kalaban ng dad ko mga drug lords," she said.
"The President is a very intelligent man. He can speak for himself freely. I cannot blame him for what he said, if he's being given false information. If he's misinformed, I can only blame the people who are making all these false allegations."
When asked if she would want to talk to the president, Angeline said that it would be a great honor for her to be able to show to the president how his father lived.
Mayor Halili, 72, was hit in the chest by a single shot fired from a distance. The bullet hit his heart while fragments of the bullet damaged his internal organs, an ABS-CBN source said of the initial autopsy findings.
Halili, who made drug suspects make a "walk of shame" around the city in 2016, was on Duterte's list of allegedly narcotics-linked officials and was subjected to "Oplan Tokhang."
In 2017, he lost supervision over the police, along with other officials accused of dabbling in the narcotics trade. He denied the allegation.