CEBU (Updated) -- The mayor of Ronda, a town in southern Cebu, was gunned down by four unidentified men inside his office around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 5.

Ronda, Cebu Mayor Mariano Blanco III was inside the municipal mayor's office, where he has been staying since he was named a drug protector by President Rodrigo Duterte, when the assailants shot him.

The shooting happened barely six months after Blanco's nephew, Ronda vice mayor and lawyer Jonnah John Ungab, was killed by motorcycle-riding assailants in Cebu City.

According to a police report, four unidentified armed men arrived at the municipal hall around 1 a.m. Wednesday and pointed their guns on two job order watchmen, who were then told to drop on the floor.

The armed men then entered Blanco's office and the watchmen heard gunfire several seconds later.

When the armed men left, the watchmen rushed to check on the mayor but found Blanco dead, his body bloodied.

Blanco was rushed to the Barili District Hospital but he was declared dead around 2:25 a.m.

Blanco, in a Napolcom Resolution 2017572, was identified as involved in the trading of illegal drugs, "after continuous validation by the intelligence agencies."

He denied this, saying somebody wants to destroy his political career.

He also denied allegations that he was behind the killing of Ungab, who was killed in February after attending a court hearing of his client, self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.


Ronda vice mayor killed in ambush

Meanwhile, Ronda Vice Mayor Rocky Gabatan said they want justice for the death of Blanco.

The Municipal Council will hold an emergency session at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 5, to pass a resolution condemning Blanco's murder.

He said he is disappointed that the crime happened near the police station, which is located four meters away from the municipal hall.

Gabatan said they will ask the National Bureau of Investigation-Central Visayas to conduct parrallel investigation. (KAL)


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