Blanco laid to rest
Around four thousand people join the grieving family of the late Ronda town mayor Mariano Blanco III in his funeral rites yesterday afternoon.
Family members and friends wore shirts emblazoned with words, “Ronda love Mayor Nonie” and “Justice on its own is not enough.” Members of the Blanco family remain silent and refused to grant interviews to the media.
Blanco was killed inside his office on September 5 by four unknown gunmen. The mayor has been holding up in his office for fear of his life after he was named narco-politician by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.
The Special Investigation Task Group headed by Cebu Provincial Police Office director Senior Supt. Manuel Abrugena is eyeing three possible motives in Blanco’s killing. In an earlier interview, Abrugena said politics, illegal drugs, and personal grudge are the angles that investigators are looking into.
Mayor Rocky Gabatan, who succeeded Blanco, said he is hopeful that justice will be served to the family at the soonest time possible. Gabatan promised to support the family if they plan to seek other law enforcement agency’s help in the investigation.
Police Superintendent Janette Rafter, spokesperson for the SITG Blanco, said that they will be coordinating with the members of the family soon now that the late mayor has been buried. Rafter admitted they are having a hard time following up leads to identify the culprits.
“Karon naglisud gyud mi sa pag-single out bisan usa man lang sa mga possible motives nga initially ni prop up, that’s why statement from the family would really help the investigation,” she said.
The town of Ronda has already a new police chief after Senior Inspector Jay Palcon and 10 of his men were relieved a day after the killing of the mayor because of their failure to immediately respond despite the proximity of the mayor’s office to the police station.
Police Inspector Renato Albuera, new police chief, said he has beefed up the security around the municipal hall since he assumed office.
Msgr. Dennis Villarojo presides over the Mass during the opening of the 26th Cebu Press Freedom Week at the Capitol Social Hall yesterday.