Philippines Presidential Guard Shot Dead, No Response From Duterte

President Duterte was reportedly not at home during the shooting incident.

2 min read
File photo of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. Image used for representational purposes.

A member of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's guard unit was shot dead on Tuesday, but the President was far away at the time of the incident, and the head of his security team ruled out foul play.

Tuesday morning's mysterious shooting in Malacanang Park, the Manila base of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), is being treated as an isolated incident and terrorism has been ruled out, PSG commander Lope Dagoy said. The body of the 37-year-old PSG guard was discovered by his wife in his quarters at 08:50 am. He died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

DZMM radio reported that one person was wounded.

However, there were conflicting messages from the presidential palace on Duterte's whereabouts. He spent the weekend in his home city, Davao, and was not seen in public on Monday. He was due to attend some events in Manila on Tuesday evening.

One palace official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said Duterte was not there at the time. However, the President's spokesman, Ernesto Abella, could not confirm where Duterte was.

He said it was too soon to comment on the incident. Abella said:

It’s being investigated and the nature of the situation needs to be clarified. Let this be sufficient at this stage... Of course, it’s a matter of concern but we need to clarify what it’s all about.

Duterte is notoriously unpredictable and often causes confusion with his schedules and time-keeping. Every week, he spends long weekends in Davao City, starting on Friday or even earlier.

(This piece first appeared on Reuters and has been republished with permission.)

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