Home » News » Cop chief sacked after mayor’s slay

Cop chief sacked after mayor’s slay




CEBU CITY – The chief of police of Ronda, Cebu has been relieved from his post following the murder of Ronda Mayor Mariano Blanco III at past midnight Wednesday.

Senior Insp. Jay R Palcon and at least five of his men were reassigned to the Cebu Provincial Police Office.

“We are still verifying who were the policemen on duty at the time. But initially, six policemen, including the town police chief, have been relieved,” said Chief Supt. Debold Sinas, director of the Police Regional Office-Central Visayas.

Sinas said the relief is due to re­ports that the police in Ronda failed to respond after four armed men barged into the office of Blanco and gunned him down.

“There are allegations that they did not respond. We are relieving them to check if they committed some lapses. This is a normal police procedure. It doesn’t mean that we are already blaming the police,” Sinas said.

Senior Supt. Manuel Abrugena, chief of the CPPO, said the policemen who were on duty during the attack reasoned that they were unsure if what they heard past 1 a.m. were bursts of gunfire since it was raining hard at the time.

Some policemen were also not in the station since they were serving an arrest warrant, Aburgena said.

A Special Investigation Task Group has been created to investigate the killing.

“We are already coordinating with the mayor’s relatives. So far, we have not identified any individual who could be behind the killing,” said Sinas.

Politics, personal grudges, and allegations that the mayor was involved in the illegal drugs trade are the possible motives that are being pursued by the investigators, said Sinas.

“The way the attack was carried out, it was really well-planned,” added Sinas.

The municipal hall where Blanco was killed was about 10 meters from the police station.

Vice Mayor Rocky Gabatan has called on the police and the National Bureau of Investigation to solve the killing, which happened about seven months after Blanco’s nephew Jonah John Ungab was killed in Cebu City.

Ungab was the vice mayor when he was am­bushed shortly after he attended a court hearing of his client, the self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.

Gabatan assumed as the town’s acting mayor while the permanent replacement of Blanco has yet to be named.

Maria Loisella Lucino, assistant regional director of the Department of Interior and Local Government-Central Visayas, said Blanco’s replace­ment should come from his party.

“The important process is the par­ty nomination. Certification should be signed by the highest-ranking official of the party. The nomination will be submitted to the governor for the appointment,” said Lucino.

Lucino said the replacement should take oath right away to avoid hampering operations at the municipal hall.