Mayor slain inside Cebu town hall

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 05 2018 06:04 AM | Updated as of Sep 05 2018 08:00 AM

Mayor slain inside Cebu town hall 1
Courtesy of Cebu Provincial Government

MANILA (UPDATE) - The mayor of Ronda town in the southwestern part of Cebu province was shot dead by unidentified men inside the town hall on Wednesday dawn.

Mayor Mariano Blanco III was pronounced dead on arrival at 2:25 a.m. after being rushed to a hospital in nearby Barili town.

Senior Insp. Junior Falcon, the town's police chief, confirmed the news to ABS-CBN News.

SPO2 Rafael Alvero of Ronda Police Station said the shooting took place inside Blanco's office at 1:28 a.m.

Armed men disembarked from a van and barged into the mayor's office. Following a burst of gunfire, the assailants immediately left the premises.

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Blanco was stripped of authority over local police in 2017 for his alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.

He was also among the 3 local chief executives who were not invited to a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Cebu last May. Duterte is currently in Israel for a 4-day visit.

Blanco's nephew, Ronda Vice Mayor Jonah John Ungab, was killed in February.

Ungab was shot by unidentified men after attending the court hearing of his client, self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa. 

Ungab represented Espinosa, son of slain Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., for a Comelec gun ban case. The younger Espinosa is facing charges of murder and illegal possession of firearms before a lower court. 

Blanco was the 16th elected official killed under the Duterte administration. 

Below is a list of mayors and vice mayors killed under Duterte's administration. 

1. Vice Mayor Aaron Sampaga of Pamplona town, Cagayan - August 5, 2016

2. Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, Maguindanao - October 28, 2016

3. Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera town, Leyte - November 5, 2016

4. Vice Mayor Anwar Sindatuk of Datu Saudi-Ampatuan town, Maguindanao - November 27, 2016

5. Mayor Mohammad Limbona of Pantar town, Lanao del Norte - December 30, 2016

6. Mayor Arsenio Agustin of Marcos town, Ilocos Norte - June 3, 2017

7. Mayor Joven Hidalgo of Balete town, Batangas - June 10, 2017

8. Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog of Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental - July 30, 2017

9. Vice Mayor Jackson Dy of Roxas town, Oriental Mindoro - September 23, 2017

10. Vice Mayor Jonah John Ungab of Ronda town, Cebu - February 19, 2018

11. Mayor Ronald Tirol of Buenavista town, Bohol - May 27, 2018

12. Mayor Antonio Halili of Tanauan City, Batangas - July 2, 2018

13. Mayor Ferdinand Bote of General Tinio town, Nueva Ecija - July 3, 2018

14. Vice Mayor Alex Lubigan of Trece Martires town, Cavite - July 7, 2018

15. Vice Mayor Al-Rashid Mohammad Ali of Sapa-Sapa town, Tawi-Tawi - July 11, 2018

16. Mayor Mariano Blanco III of Ronda town, Cebu - September 5, 2018