Cebu still safe?

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio, Jessa Mae O. Sotto September 06,2018 - 11:45 AM


Reeling from shock over the killing of his friend and political ally, Ronda Mayor Mariano Blanco, Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III expressed great concern that assassins can ‘strike anywhere, anytime.’

“Akong na notice dili na galing mo pili og lugar. Bisag asa na lang (I have noticed that suspects no longer choose areas. They just kill anywhere they want). They strike anywhere, anytime,” Davide, who is also chairman of Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), said.

“I was shocked when I heard the news of Mayor Blanco’s murder. I condemn in the strongest terms the brutal murder of Mayor Noni Blanco who is a friend and an ally, right in his own office in the municipal hall,” Davide told reporters at a press conference.

Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo shared similar sentiments as Davide saying “bisan asa ka, bisan naa ka sa balay or sa opisina, pwede ka ma-target (wherever you are, whether at home or in the office, you can just be a target).”

Death threats

The governor said that Blanco confided to him about having received death threats days after the killing of Blanco’s nephew, former Ronda Vice Mayor and lawyer Jonah John Ungab last February.

“He was really concerned sa iyang personal safety that time. Up to now, mao bitaw dili kaayo mag arian si Mayor Blanco diri Cebu City, adto na siya maghigdaan sa iyang opisina,” he said.

The late mayor was publicly tagged by President Rodrigo Duterte as among the alleged narco-politicians in 2016.

Davide said he had no knowledge or information about Blanco’s alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

“As far I know to my best knowledge and information, si Mayor Blanco wala man to siya ma-involve sa any illegal activity, particularly illegal drugs,” he said.

Guardo also said he knew Mayor Blanco personally, and that Blanco “was a good businessman. I do not see him involved in drug activities. He is very committed to serving Ronda.”

‘Not Safe’

Guardo said Cebu is no longer safe because even in a public office, anyone can be killed if one is targetted.

Cebu City Councilor Sisinio Andales for his part said Cebu is no longer safe as lawyers, PDEA agents, elected officials have been killed in the past months.

He said many elected officials like Daanbantayan Mayor Vicente Loot are already afraid of being exposed in public for fear of being assasinated.

But according to Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, Cebu City is still safe for law abiding citizens. But he urged the National Bureau of Investigation and the police to look beyond drug involvement in investigating Blanco’s murder.


Other Cebu local executives expressed grief over the death of their fellow public official.

“”It is very sad to learn of the demise of a fellow mayor. I am praying for him and his bereaved family. I am sure the appropriate agencies will look into the circumstance of his passing,” Argao Mayor Stanley Caminero said.

“”It is something to be concerned about. People are being killed. Now even mayors,” said Mayor Mariano Martinez of San Remigio town.

Meanwhile, Davide directed the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO) and the NBI to conduct a speedy investigation of the case.

“This is the first tingale sa Cebu nga in less than a year a vice mayor unya nawad-an na pud sila og (and now they have lost their) Mayor, naunsa naman ni (What is happening)?” Davide said.

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TAGS: alleged, Cebu‬, Duterte, februaru, NARCO, President, SAFE

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