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Two killed in ambush on ex-lawmaker and governor in Philippines

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Unidentified gunmen on Wednesday ambushed a former lawmaker and governor in the northern Philippines, killing two of his bodyguards, the Police said.

Amado Espino, a former governor and ex-congressman of Pangasinan province, was travelling in a car with five bodyguards when the attack occurred in San Carlos City, 162 kilometres north of Manila.

According to Brig.-Gen. Josel Orduna, Regional Police Director, two of the bodyguards were killed in the ambush.

Sen. Richard Gordon, President of the Philippine Red Cross, said Espino was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was now fighting for his life.

The National Police Chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde, however, condemned the attack on Espino and ordered a manhunt for the killers.

President Rodrigo Duterte once accused Espino of having links to the illegal drugs trade in the country, but he later cleared him of the accusations and apologised for the wrong information.

The Duterte administration had since launched an aggressive crackdown on illegal drugs, which had left nearly 6,000 suspected drug users and dealers killed in police operations since 2016.

The anti-drug war had been highly criticised by some foreign governments and international organisations for the high death toll and allegations of abuses.

YI/AIB

Edited by Yahaya Isah/Abdulfatah Babatunde

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