Abra Lawmaker Appeals For Calm and Sobriety Amidst Ex- Vice-Governor’s Killing

BANGUED, Abra — Abra lawmaker Joseph Sto. Nino Bernos appealed to Abrenians for calm and sobriety amidst the killing of former governor Rolando Somera Saturday dawn in Marikina City.

Representative Bernos urged his provincemates to stop insinuations that dirty politics again came into play in the Somera killing.

“Let us wait for the result of the police investigation.To conclude that political violence of old is back will do more harm to the province than any good,” he said.

Somera, flanked by two aides, had just stepped out of the San Roque cockpit arena in Barangay San Roque around 1:15 a.m. and was walking toward his gray Fortuner car when the gunman appeared from nowhere and fired at him at him at close range.

The former vice- governor sustained three gunshot wounds in the back and two more in the chest and died on the spot. His aides Reynaldo de Luna, 46, and Wilfredo Apalisoc, 59, were hit by stray bullets and were brought to different hospitals. It was not known how extensive were their wounds but were expected to survive.

Police ruled out robbery as motive in the killing since no valuables were taken from Somera.

Rep. Bernos, admitted that Somera was a political foe in the past elections. He said that the murder was done outside Abra, hinting that the killing was not politically-motivated.

“Abra had veered away from its old image as “Cordillera’s Killing Fields”, and will only suffer in the end if we continue attributing any murder or incident including that of the Vice-Governor to political rivalries,” the young lawmaker said.

Bernos’ older brother Ysrael, who was the mayor of La Paz, was assassinated in their own town in the 90’s.

The Abra lawmaker added that the province has since become peaceful compared to previous elections marred with assassinations and grisly killings. “We’ve fully recovered from that dark past,” Bernos said.

Somera’s close kin also appealed for justice for Somera and did not point any accusing finger as the investigation for his killing has not been terminated.

Somera’s political career ran for almost three decades. He was also a former provincial board member and a nine-year stint as mayor of Pilar town. He served as Abra vice- governor from 2010 to 2013.

He ran but lost for the lone congressional district of Abra in 2013 and lost again as candidate for vice- governor in 2016 under the Nacionalista Party.

It was learned that Somera, as director of the National Tobacco Administration, was endorsed by defeated vice-presidential candidate former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.Thom Picana/NPN – northboundasia.com