Cebu town Mayor Mariano Blanco. Screen grab of video on The Freeman Facebook page/Clydyl Avila

Local politicians in the Philippines continue to see their lives extinguished in grim fashion, with another mayor killed on Wednesday. It was the third murder of a mayor in the country in the span of three months.

Cebu town mayor Mariano Blanco III was shot to death in his office in Ronda town on Wednesday, following the revocation of his security detail. Cebu provincial police chief Senior Supterintendent Manuel Abrugena said Blanco’s police protection was stripped because of his alleged links to drug crime, according to Philippine news website Rappler.

Blanco was said to be sleeping at the Municipal Hall, where the office in which he was shot is located, out of fear for his life, PhilStar Global reported.

Abrugena suggested in comments to reporters that politics was one motivation for the assassination.

“The information we have received is still broad and I’ll just disclose the details later […] About politics,” Abrugena said, as translated by Rappler.

Blanco was elected twice as a member of the Liberal Party, though he told the SunStar last year that he was joining Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s PDP-Laban party.

The murder marks the 11th time a mayor has been killed since Duterte took office.

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