Aspirant for barangay kagawad gunned down in Abra


A candidate in the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in Bucay, Abra was shot dead
on Tuesday. Catalino Turalba Sr., who is running for barangay council member in Barangay Palaguio, and his son were on a motorcycle on their way home when unidentified men on another motorbike, who tailed them, opened fire as they arrived in Sitio Nagpasinan in Barangay Bangbangcag, police said. Turalba died at the Therese Hospital in Dolores town. His son was unhurt. Investigator-on-case Cpl. Vicsyd Manuel said a manhunt for the assailants, who fled to an unknown destination, is ongoing.

Comelec Chairman George Garcia expressed concern over the killing, saying the poll body is waiting for a formal report. Garcia said Comelec officials are also coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government regarding reports that 122 candidates in Abra have backed out. The candidates, many of them from Bucay, reportedly withdrew from the race, citing “pressure” from their rivals. Garcia said there is no evidence at this point that the candidates were threatened to resign. Contrary to earlier reports, he said 44 teachers in Abra begged off from serving in the polls not due to threats of violence.

Thirteen of the teachers are supposed to serve in Bucay. Cordillera police director Brig. Gen. David Peredo said security measures are in place to ease tension in the province. He gave assurance that the situation is “still manageable.” Last week, an alleged member of a private armed group was killed in a shootout with law enforcers in Bucay. Abra Gov. Dominic Valera and Vice Gov. Ma. Jocelyn Valera-Bernos expressed concern over the killing and the situation in the province. They called on Philippine National Police chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. to “intervene.” Northern Luzon Command spokesman Maj. Al Pueblas said Nolcom would deploy more soldiers in the province.

Artemio Dumlao/ABN

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