A mayor from the Southern Philippines has been assassinated at a Manila airport in an attack that killed his wife and two children, one younger than 2, and wounded four more.

Ukol Talumpa, mayor of the Labangan region in the Zamboanga del Sur province, was shot by men on a motorcycle who opened fire on the family as they left terminal 3 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, said the airport's general manager Jose Angel Honrado.

They were declared dead upon arrival at a nearby air base hospital along with two others, one boy aged 18 months. It was not immediately clear whether the other two victims were related to the Talumpa, according to AFP news agency.

Talumpa had survived many other assassination attempts, including a grenade attack in Pagadian city where he was vice-mayor in September 2012, and a shooting in Manila that left he and a nephew wounded, according to news reports in the Philippines.

He won the mayoral election for Labangan in May but the election was hotly contested, according to AFP.