Mayor Ronald Aquino of Calbayog City, Samar, and his two bodyguards were killed in an ambush Monday afternoon, local police said.
Initial investigation disclosed that while the victims were on their way along Laboyao Bridge, Brgy. Lonoy in Calbayog around 5:30 p.m. on board a white Toyota Hi-Ace Van, they were suddenly fired upon by suspects who were allegedly onboard two vehicles.
The victims managed to retaliate, as one suspect was also killed, police said.
The names of two other victims have yet to be identified.
Police were conducting a pursuit operation and personnel manning checkpoints were alerted for possible identification and subsequent arrest of the suspects.
The family of Mayor Aquino, who was in his last term, has yet to issue an official statement as of press time.
The Police Regional Office-Eastern Visayas earlier launched an investigation on the series of killings in the city.
In 2011, then-Calbayog Mayor Reynaldo Uy was also shot and killed by a still unknown assassin.