Manila Airport Shooting Leaves Four Dead Including a Provincial Mayor

Four others wounded as gunmen dressed in police uniforms open fire in arrivals area

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© Romeo Ranoco / Reuters / REUTERS

A China Southern Airlines aircraft flies over a slum before landing at Manila's International airport May 16, 2012.

Four people were shot dead by armed gunmen at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on Friday morning, according to Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN. Airport officials confirmed that one of the dead was Ukol Talumpa, the mayor of the town of Labangan in the southern Philippine province of Zamboanga del Sur.

Among the others killed were the mayor’s wife Leah and an 18-month-old boy. Four others have been injured.

Manila airport General Manager Jose Angel Honrado told AP that gunmen on a motorcycle fired at  Talumpa and his wife as they stepped out of Terminal 3. The gunmen wore police uniforms.

Philippine news outlet Rappler says that Talumpa had been the target of two previous attacks. He survived a shooting in 201o and a grenade attack in 2102 that wounded a police officer and two passers-by, including a three-year-old girl.

The Philippines is plagued by high homicide rates thanks in large part to a culture of political impunity, loose gun laws that have allowed arms to circulate widely across the archipelago and rampant poverty that helps create a pool of hitmen for hire.

Manila’s airport was also the site of the infamous assassination of the country’s democracy icon Benigno Aquino in 1983.