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.
Gaging and Mario, job order watchmen at the municipal hall, said they were taking shelter at the Sangguniang Bayan (municipal council) building beside the town hall because it was drizzling when the armed men wearing masks and caps pointed guns at them and told them to drop to the ground. He was linked by the government to the illegal drug trade, and right now, cops are looking into politics and personal grudges as the possible motives to his assassination.More news: BMW Championship: Tiger Woods & Rory McIlroy share lead in Philadelphia
In an interview with radio station DWIZ previous year, Blanco said he feared for his life having been linked to the drug trade.
Blanco had reportedly been taking precautions since Duterte publically named him as a narco-politician in 2016, The Inquirer said. "I'm really shocked. I have been serving the town for 22 years now, and my name was never besmirched until this issue came".
"Wednesday was killed the mayor of a popular tourist town (on the island - ed.), Cebu city, two months after the murder of two other mayors in other cities in the Philippines". This meant he could no longer appoint the town's police chief, inspect units or take any decisions about the force.
Blanco was immediately brought to a district hospital in a neighboring town but was declared dead at 2:30 a.m.More news: Democrat releases 'confidential' emails as Kavanaugh hearing heats up
Six months before his death, Blanco's nephew and vice mayor Jonah John Ungab was shot dead by unidentified assailants after attending a hearing at the Cebu City Palace of Justice.
Ungab was the legal counsel of self-confessed drug lord Rolando "Kerwin" Espinosa Jr.
11 mayors and six vice mayors have been killed since June 2016.
He also said the president had received "intelligence reports" that Blanco was involved in the drug trade.More news: Museum: Centuries-old Torah Not Burned in Rio Blaze
Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili was shot by a sniper in July during a flag-raising ceremony outside of the City Hall.