Pasay City councilor shot dead in SM Southmall
MANILA, Philippines (6th UPDATE) – A Pasay City councilor was shot dead by unknown assailants at SM Southmall in Las Piñas City on Saturday evening, August 5, police said.
Pasay City Councilor Borbie Rivera was "declared dead on arrival" in Asian Hospital at 8:57 pm on Saturday, said Las Piñas police chief Marion Balonglong in a phone interview with Rappler.
The shooting incident happened at 8:30 pm on Saturday, police said.
Balonglong said Rivera just exited the mall building in a wheelchair when an unidentified gunman shot him point-blank.
According to Balonglong, the security personnel of Rivera were forced to retaliate against the gunmen, adding more gunshots to the scene.
He said the suspects rushed toward Alabang.
Balonglong said the shooting was an "isolated incident" as it targeted a single personality. Meanwhile, it will be business as usual for the mall.
He said the case is still under investigation.
In a separate statement, SM Supermalls said that the incident happened "in the driveway outside the mall," and that it involved a male customer.
"The customer was immediately attended to and taken to the nearby hospital accompanied by our emergency response team," SM Supermalls said.
This required "the temporary closure of that particular area to ensure the safety of the people in the vicinity," it added.
The mall's security personnel and the Philippine National Police have "already declared the mall safe to be reopened."
Rivera was previously hurt in a similar attack on June 23, when two assailants on a motorcycle shot at his vehicle. Back then, he was leaving a bar at 4 am.
According to the Philippine Star, Rivera was also arrested in April 2015 on murder charges for allegedly being involved in a drive-by shooting in Barangay Pio del Pilar, Makati. That shooting in January 2015 left one person dead and 9 others wounded. – Victor Barreiro Jr and Rambo Talabong/Rappler.com