Motorcycle-riding gunmen shot two town mayors from Basilan province, one was killed and another wounded while walking in Zamboanga city, Monday.  

According to the police, Mayor Darussalam Lajid of Al-Barka town was killed and Mayor Alih Sali of Akbar town was wounded by at least two men riding a motorcycle armed with pistols. Both were walking in Zamboanga city after arriving on a speedboat from their island province of Basilan. A driver who came to pick them up was also killed, while another security aide was wounded in the brazen attack. 

The men are still unidentified and the motive is unknown. The police officials are trying to identity the two gunmen and their two companions who escaped on motorcycles. 

The mayors were reportedly running in the upcoming May 9 elections. A possibility that involves political rivalry, is also being investigated.   

Philippine elections have been the center of attention for being marred in the past by bloody feuds, lengthy conflicts and accusations of cheating. In rural or more remote regions of the country, weak law enforcement and proliferation of unlicensed firearms and private armies have been some of the causes of violence.

In the upcoming Philippines election, registered Filipino voters will choose a president and vice president, alongside more than 300 lawmakers and thousands of local government officials. 

In November, current President Rodrigo Duterte filed candidacy for a senate position, contrary to his vow to retire from politics when his presidential term ends. Duterte is ineligible for re-election in the same position for 2022 as he is limited to a single term under the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Among the list of presidential positions, the key contenders include legendary boxer-turned-Senator Manny Pacquiao, Marcos Jr., the son of late dictator president Ferdinand Marcos, actor and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, former police chief and now Senator Panfilo Lacson and Vice President Leni Robredo. 

President Duterte's successor will have to grapple with reviving an economy shaken by the pandemic. The pressure caused by the coronavirus pandemic deeply affected the health and economy of the Philippines. 

File picture of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Davao City, in the southern island of Mindanao on February 9, 2018. Duterte on February 9, declared himself beyond the jurisdiction of an International Criminal Court probe into thousands of deaths in his "drugs war", claiming local laws do not specifically ban extrajudicial killings. Photo by AFP via Getty Images