Cebu town mayor Mariano Blanco shot dead

Rambo Talabong
Cebu town mayor Mariano Blanco shot dead
(UPDATED) Mayor Mariano Blanco III of Ronda, Cebu was linked to illegal drugs under the Duterte administration

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Mayor Mariano Blanco III of Ronda, Cebu was shot inside his own office at the town hall on Wednesday, September 5. He was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

According to Ronda police chief Senior Inspector JR Palcon, Blanco was at his office at around 1:30 am on Wednesday when 4 unidentified men broke in and shot him.

Blanco is the 11th mayor shot dead under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, following General Tinio Mayor Ferdinand Bote who was gunned down just in July. (READ: Mayors, vice mayors killed under Duterte gov’t)

Why was he in the office? According to Palcon, Blanco slept inside the town hall because his residence is far. He supposedly had been sleeping inside his office for a while already, Palcon said.

Who is the suspect? Palcon said they are still processing the crime scene as of this posting, but added that they already have witnesses speaking to their investigators for the probe to move forward.

Mayor was linked to drugs: Blanco was linked to illegal drugs under the Duterte administration, and was stripped of police powers in October 2017.

Ronda also lost vice mayor this year: Just this February, Ronda town lost its vice mayor, Jonah John Ungab, in an ambush. He served as the lawyer of suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.