Challengers sweep Pilar polls from mayoral to council seats
It was a landslide victory for the opposing candidates of the ruling incumbent officials in Pilar, Abra, which was under the control of the Commission on Elections during the May 9 polls.
Incumbent Councilor Tyron Beroña was proclaimed mayor with 6,210 votes, edging incumbent Mayor Maro Somera, who garnered 291 votes.
Incumbent Vice Mayor Jaja Josefina Somera-Disono, who figured out in the recent two-day stand-off between her armed private escorts and Abra policemen, suffered an upset defeat by garnering 708 votes while her rival, Samson Laguesma, garnered 5,573 votes.
The complete slate of Beroña and Laguesma, who ran under the Nationalist Party, also swept the eight-man council seat.
Proclaimed winners were incumbent Councilors Mario Agbusac and Roldan Dumlao; and new Councilors Baltazar Beroña, Jr., Restituto Dizon, Sr., Noel Beroña, Walter Dait, Donardo Beroña, and Robert Domingo.
To recall, the whole council slate of the Somera siblings withdrew from the race days after the March 29 shooting incidents in Pilar and two-day standoff between the police and Disono’s armed security aides.
The alleged shootout ensued when the staff of Disono failed to stop at a PNP-Comelec checkpoint in Pilar. One of Disono’s security aides was killed during the alleged shootout.
In several media interviews, the Disonos claimed the incident has political color.
The Abra police then filed a case for violation of Republic Act 10364 or the Expanded Trafficking in Person Act against Somera and Disono.
The Abra Police Provincial Office reported the case is in connection with the surrender of the 12 former military men whom the sibling politicians employed as personal security aides after the March 29 stand-off at the Somera compound.
The sibling politicians, who are now in hiding for security reason, has sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation, which filed charges of perjury and incriminating an innocent person against top officers and personnel of Police Regional Office-Cordillera and Abra PPO.
On May 4, Comelec Chair Saidamen Pangarungan placed under its control the municipality of Pilar.
All personnel of the Pilar Municipal Police Station, from the chief of police to the lowest ranking personnel, were replaced by the personnel of the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 15 and members of the Special Action Force. – Ofelia C. Empian