Gunmen have shot dead a town mayor and three other people at the airport in the Philippine capital, Manila, sending travellers fleeing for safety, authorities said.

Ukol Talumpa, the mayor of the town of Labangan in Zamboanga del Sur province, was killed together with his wife, an 18-month-old baby and one other person, Al Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan reported from Manila on Friday.

Four other people were wounded in the incident, airport manager Jose Honrado said.

Honrado, speaking alongside Manila police officials at a news conference, said that Talumpa was waiting for a ride with his family outside an airport terminal when the gunmen on a motorcycle shot him and others at close range.

Airport security force chased the gunmen but they escaped on their vehicle in the heavy late-morning traffic outside the terminal, Honrado said.

Motive unknown

He added that the authorities did not know the identity of the attackers nor the motive for the attack

"Government agencies are trying their best to determine the perpetrators and bring them to justice," the airport manager said.

Talumpa, a member of the political opposition, won a hotly contested electoral contest for mayor of Labangan in last May's local elections.

Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport is named after prominent opposition politician Benigno Aqunio, who was shot dead there in 1983 as he arrived home from self-exile. His son, also Benigno Aqunio, is now the country's president.

Philippine airports are usually packed with passengers and well-wishers during the Christmas season.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies