Cebu cops identify ‘persons of interest’ in Ronda mayor’s slayPosted on
CEBU CITY — The Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) on Friday said they now have “persons of interest” in the killing of Ronda, Cebu Mayor Mariano Blanco III.
Provincial Police Director Senior Supt. Manuel Abrugena said they have more than two “persons of interest” but declined to divulge their identities as investigation is still ongoing.
He said the Special Investigation Task Group created for the case has already identified several people who have possible involvement in Blanco’s murder.
The CPPO chief said they are looking into politics and personal grudge as main motives in the slaying of Blanco.
One of these “persons of interest” allegedly has an axe to grind with the local chief executive, Abrugena said.
He added that it is an open secret in Ronda that Blanco was also coddling people of “questionable characters,” including hitmen.
He, however, clarified that these “persons of interest” are not yet considered as suspects.
Investigators are also not discounting the possibility that Blanco’s killing was drug-related as the Ronda mayor was named by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016 as a drug protector.
Abrugena said they are also studying the connection of Blanco’s murder to the ambush-slay of Ronda Vice Mayor Jonah John Ungab last February.
Ungab, who is also Blanco’s nephew, was one of the legal counsels of self-confessed drug lord Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr.
The 58-year-old Blanco was killed by four gunmen while he was sleeping inside his office at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.
He has been reportedly staying at the Ronda Municipal Hall since the President tagged him as a narco-politician.
Abrugena, meanwhile, said they welcome the plan of the Blanco family to ask the National Bureau of Investigation to likewise look into the mayor’s killing.
“It is most welcome. The more law enforcement agencies investigating the case, the bigger the possibility of solving the case soonest,” Abrugena said in Tagalog.
He also denied insinuations that the murder was “government-sponsored” or sanctioned by the police, saying the government does not resort to this kind of operation. (PNA)