‘It’s horrible:’ Philadelphia’s mayor regrets killing of the Philippines

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MANILA, Philippines – The mayor of Philadelphia has expressed shock and grief over the killing of a Filipino lawyer who was shot in the city over the weekend and offered a $20,000 reward for information that would lead to the arrest of the shooter, a senior Filipino diplomat. Wed said.

John Albert Lilo and his mother were heading to the airport on a flight early Saturday when a person in a nearby car fired several shots at an Uber at a red traffic light near the University of Pennsylvania, police said. Lilo was hit in the back of the head and died Sunday in hospital.

“I’m sorry. Philippine Consul General Elmer Cato quoted Mayor Jim Kenny as telling him at a meeting in Philadelphia City Hall in an apology to Lilo’s family and the Philippines. The mayor told him that a $20,000 reward had been offered for any information that would lead to the gunman’s arrest, According to him.

The victim’s mother, Leah Lillo, said, “I convey to the mayor her suffering, anger and her demand for justice” and Kenny gave his assurance that “everything will be done to bring to justice anyone responsible for her son’s death,” Cato told The Associated Press.

“I also conveyed the great importance that the Philippine government attaches to this issue and the hope that the authorities will do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said.

Kato said that 35-year-old Lilo last worked for a private company in Manila. He also served as the legislative staff for opposition Senator Leila de Lima from 2016 to 2018 and then left to pursue graduate studies. De Lima earlier expressed his hope that the suspect would be immediately held accountable for the “senseless atrocity”.

“We were told it was mostly a case of misidentification,” Kato said in Kato’s meeting with Kenny, who was with two police officials involved in the investigation into the shooting. He added that police were analyzing video footage that showed some vehicles, including a black Cadillac, near the vehicle carrying Lilo and his mother shortly before or close to the attack.

Cato said Kenny had expressed concern about the proliferation of weapons that led to a deadly shooting in the United States.

In tweets earlier this week, Kenny said he was appalled by the “idiot” shooting. “Every act of gun violence is an unspeakable tragedy,” he wrote, while also calling on anyone with information about the shooting to Call the police.

Philadelphia, along with other large American cities, is experiencing an uptick in gun violence. In one notable episode on June 4, an armed clash in the South Street entertainment district, about 3 miles (5 km) from the shooting that killed Lilo, left three people dead and several others injured.

Lilo’s mother, who was slightly injured by shards of glass during the shooting, posted on Facebook that she and her son were on vacation together. She shared snapshots of her and her son touring locations in New York, Washington, and Philadelphia.

Kato said the victim’s remains could be flown to the Philippines on Tuesday.

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