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Philippine town mayor killed

Mayor Mariano Blanco

A Philippine town mayor who was linked by the president to illegal drugs was fatally shot in his office Wednesday in the latest brazen attack on local officials. Four gunmen barged into the Ronda municipality’s town hall in Cebu province early Wednesday and repeatedly shot Mayor Mariano Blanco, who was sleeping in his office, police said.

The men fled in a van. A police report said the gunmen ordered two watchmen to lie on the ground at gunpoint, rushed to the town hall, and then “a burst of gunfire was heard from the mayor’s office.” The watchmen later found Blanco dead and notified the police. President Rodrigo Duterte had included Blanco in a list of officials allegedly linked to illegal drugs.

The mayor had denied any wrongdoing and had been alternately sleeping in his office and his nearby house after reportedly receiving death threats, officials said. Last year, Blanco was stripped of control over the local police due to his alleged links to illegal drugs. Blanco’s nephew, Ronda Vice Mayor and lawyer Jonah John Ungab, was shot and killed in his car by motorcycle-riding men in February after attending a court hearing for a client, a suspected drug lord, in central Cebu city. (AP)

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