Abra politicos surrender firearms, PAG members

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

BANGUED, Abra - Four municipal mayors and a punong barangay voluntarily surrendered six licensed firearms, as well as one active and four potential members of a Private Armed Group (PAG) in the province.

Regional Police Information Office officer-in-charge Byron Allatog said the firearms and PAG members were turned over to police Saturday for a peaceful 2013 election campaign of the policemen in the province.

Police Regional Office-Cordillera (Procor) Director Benjamin Magalong identified those who surrendered their licensed firearms as: Lacub Mayor Estelita Bersamina, who turned over two registered AKKAR guage 12 shotguns; Pilar Mayor Jaja Disono, who turned in one registered caliber .30 M2; Tubo Mayor Wilma Gattud with one AKKAR gauge 12 shotgun; Danglas Mayor Esther Bernos, who surrendered an unlicensed caliber .45 pistol; and village chief Victor Escalante of Velasco, Tayum town, who gave up a caliber .22 "paltik" with one magazine.


Magalong said Bangued Mayor Ryan Seares Luna presented four potential PAG members under the Vincent Guzman group. This, he said, is a breakthrough in their efforts to ensure a secure election in the province, and prevent Abra from being included in the priority areas that will be declared under the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) control prior to election day.

Head of the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOTG) and concurrent officer-in-charge of the Abra Police Provincial Office Police Roberto Quinto Soriano identified the supposed PAG members as Michael Omnas Bringas, 36, single, a security guard and resident of Barangay Angad; Residio Guzman Ducayag, 41, married and a resident of Banacao; Josel Bisera Bersamina, 44, a resident of Dangdangla; and Jonnel Balubar Valera, 29, a resident of Lubong.

"We continue to get positive responses from politicians belonging to different political parties on our efforts to curb violence in the province, thus, we will continue to engage them in order to achieve our goal of a secure and free elections apart from a non-Comelec control of Abra during next year's elections," said Magalong.

Magalong and Soriano expressed their gratitude to the political leaders from the province and the 27 towns for their continued support to the policemen's campaign on peaceful 2013 elections of Abra.

The Procor chief said operating units in the province must continue to intensify their campaigns with barangay, municipal and provincial leaders in order to convince them to give up their licensed and unlicensed firearms for the sake of lasting peace in Abra.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier included Abra in the list of 15 priority provinces that could be declared as possible hotspots in next year's elections, because of its history of intensified political rivalry and election-related violence and incidents over the past elections. (Rubyloida Bitog)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 18, 2012.

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