Outgoing Abra gov asks cops to probe ‘takeover’
BAGUIO CITY—Abra Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin on Friday said a group affiliated with one of the winners in the May 9 elections in the province had tried to take over the capitol in Bangued town, 50 days ahead of the official inauguration of new officials.
A task force composed of policemen and Army soldiers has secured the government building following reports that supporters of Governor-elect Maria Jocelyn Valera-Bernos had tried the takeover.
Abra is under the control of the Commission on Elections until June 8 owing to its history of political violence.
But Bersamin might have over reacted, said Dick Bersamira, Bernos’ media officer.
Bernos, the incumbent Abra representative, just wanted to inventory pieces of government property in the capitol before she assumed office on July 1, Bersamira said.
But Bersamin insisted it was a takeover bid. “They have to respect the fact that I remain governor until June 30,” he said.
He said the group wanted to stop all provincial transactions to pave the way for an inventory of his administration’s activities. “I told them the government needs to continue operating while I am in charge. They can have this office after
June 30,” the governor said.
Marlo Iringan, Cordillera director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, said he was verifying the report.
Bersamin and Bernos used to be allies.
Abra drew national attention in 2005 when a government fact-finding mission found that Abra political families had private armed groups on their payroll. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon; with a report from Leoncio Balbin Jr., Contributor
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