Mayor Halili’s daughter: My father would rather die than be a drug lord

Angeline Halili, daughter of slain Mayor Antonio C. Halili of Tanauan, Batangas broke her silence amid their bereavement and dismissed on Tuesday morning as hearsay the allegation that her father was a drug lord.

In an interview with media at her father’s wake, Angeline broke her silence over the raging controversy that her father was a drug lord and was among five mayors in the Calabarzon region on the police’s “narco list.”

“My father would rather die than become a drug lord,” the daughter stressed, saying that her family has “black and white” documents to prove that the family’s businesses are legal.

She said there are several angles over her father’s death, including his iron-fist policy against drug offenders and criminal suspects under his “parade of shame” campaign, which was intended to rid Tanauan of law breakers, especially on narcotics and criminality.

“Yung mga tao nagpursige na labanan ang drugs. Hindi pinili ng dad ko na mag-drug lord. Eh sila (opponent) naman yon, kamag-anak naman nila yon (People have been clamoring to fight drugs. My dad never chooses to be a drug lord. They are his opponents, their relatives),” Angeline said.

She also said claims that the fund spent for the construction of their big house came from her father’s illegal activities were “gossip and hearsay.”

“Dati naman wala kaming alam diyan (gossip), narinig na lang namin kasi lumabas yan. (Before, we were not aware of that, and came to know about it when it spread). When he decided to run for Mayor, yun na lumabas na iyong tismis na yon, kasi lumabas sa kalaban. (that’s the time the gossip spread coming from his political opponents),” she said.

She also debunked issues by some quarters that her father’s death was drug-related. Some rumors even linked him to big-time drug lords who were also slain in the past.

Angeline also pointed out that criminals were the ones against her dad and lamented “these are the people who should not be around us.”

She also confirmed that her father had received death threats. Angeline said she had supported him “because he was fighting for his rights and the rights for all the people here.”

“In this city, sa lahat, kalaban namin lahat yan, buti sana kung kami ang masama. Hindi eh, ipinaglalaban namin mga tao na niloloko, sinisira ang buhay ng mga drug lord na ito. Anong gusto niyong gawin namin,” she said.

She emphasized that her slain father did not allow drug lords to do their thing in this city.

Angeline said the family was leaving everything to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“The PNP are honest people and it’s up to them to do the right thing,” Angeline said as she appealed to her father’s constituents to help in the investigation.

“Who am I to tell them what to do? Matalinong tao si President (Duterte) natin. Siya ang nakakaalam kung anong dapat gawin (the President is an intelligent man. He knows what to do the proper way). He knows how to be respected. He knows how to bring justice to my father’s death,” Halili’s daughter said.

She said they plan to bury her father on July 14 but this could be moved to a different date as they have to wait for their relatives from abroad.

Her brother, Mark Anthony, just arrived Tuesday from an international engagement abroad and they will be initially discussing the details of the funeral rites and interment with the Halili clan.

The controversial mayor succumbed to a bullet wound to the chest at around 8:10 a.m. while gracing Monday’s flag raising ceremony at the New Tanauan City Hall grounds in Barangay Natatas.

The mayor was brought to CP Reyes Medical Center by local civil security unit personnel but was pronounced dead around 8:45 a.m. PNA