Duterte security guard found dead near Philippine presidential palace

By Elizabeth Shim  |  Sept. 26, 2017 at 12:58 PM
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Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A member of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's security detail is dead after a shooting incident near Malacanang Palace.

Maj. Harim Gonzaga, 37, was found with a single gunshot wound to the chest in adjoining Malacang Park, but authorities say foul play is not suspected, local news service Rappler reported.

Gonzaga's wife discovered his body on Tuesday morning. Duterte may have been away, Al Jazeera reported.

Duterte's spokesman Ernesto Abella said he does not have information of the president's whereabouts.

The Philippine leader typically spends weekends in Davao, where he served as mayor for more than two decades.

His trips to Davao usually begin on a Thursday and end on Monday, or later, according to Al Jazeera.

Duterte was expected to be in Manila by Tuesday evening.

Presidential Security Group commander Lope Dagoy said authorities are "ruling out foul play" and police were investigating the shooting.

Duterte's tough stance against drug traffickers has earned him the nickname "The Punisher."

During his term in office, more than 3,800 people have been killed in an anti-drug crackdown that rights groups including Amnesty International have described as "unlawful."

Duterte said Tuesday an arrest warrant for a drug lord sparked a domestic conflict in Marawi, Rappler reported.

"The Marawi war was ignited by the service of a summons and a warrant of arrest for one of the drug lords there. There was a firefight, and that started the rebellion," the Philippine leader said.

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