October 2, 2023

The Abra Police Provincial Office said there is still no recommendation if the whole province will be under the control of the Commission on Elections following the recent killing of a punong barangay in Bangued.

Abra Police Office Information Officer, Capt. Edwin Sergio, in a recent press conference, said the rest of the province remains peaceful despite the reported killings in some municipalities since the start of the election campaign this year. 

“According to our regional director, B/Gen. Ronald Lee, wala pa sa kanyang isipan na i-recommend ang buong Abra as hotspot,” Sergio said.

The 18 towns of Abra are under green category while only nine towns, namely Bangued, Pilar, Dolores, Penarrubia, Pidigan, Tayum, San Juan, Tineg, and Lagayan are under yellow category.

According to the Comelec, the election hotspots have four categories:  green, yellow, orange, and red. Areas under the green category are considered to be peaceful and orderly.

Areas with intense political rivalry among politicians are under yellow category while those under the orange category are places with intense political rivalry and have a history of election-related violence.

The red category is for areas with intense political rivalry, history of election-related violence and incidents, and presence of private armed groups.

The determination of the hotspot areas is also based on the recommendation of the Philippine National Police.

Sergio said the “Task Force Bringas” was recently convened to investigate the killing of Angad, Bangued PB Ronnie Bermudez Bringas on April 27.

He said the police was able to pinpoint a suspect, whose name he did not divulge, and identified some witnesses to the crime.

Bringas was watching a basketball game when he was shot by an unidentified male person. The suspect left in a motorcycle but it crashed on the side of the road. He then left the motorcycle behind and ran on foot. The police report said bystanders tried to grab the suspect but he drew his gun at them, allowing him to escape.

Bringas was the third person killed in the province since the start of the election campaign in January.

On March 29, Sandee Bermudo, the security aide of Pilar Vice Mayor Jaja Disono was killed in an alleged shootout with the police. What followed was a still unsolved killing of kagawad Marlon Tabaday Tanurio of Bolbolo in Pilar on April 2. Tanurio was shot in his sleep at his house. – Ofelia C. Empian