Local dynasty in Pilar, Abra crumbles

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The local political dynasty of the Someras in Pilar town, Abra had crumbled after a virtually “unknown” Tyron Beroña got

votes in a highly-contested mayoralty race Monday.

Beroña garnered 6,210 nods as against a mere 291 votes by incumbent Mayor Maro Somera, son of the late longtime town mayor and former Governor Rolando Somera who was slain outside a cockpit arena in Marikina in 2017.

Mayor Somera’s sister— incumbent Vice Mayor Jaja Somera-Disono, whose bodyguards were earlier entangled in a checkpoint breach, shooting and various crimes, also lost to Beroñas teammate Samson Laguesma with only 708 votes while the latter got a whooping 5,573.

The Somera patriach Rolando served as mayor of Pilar town in Abra for three consecutive terms and was once a board member. He ran for congressman in 2013 but lost to former congresswoman now governor Ma. Joycelyn Bernos.

He also ran for vice governor in 2016 but was unsuccessful in his bid.
Came his son— Mark Rolando (Maro) and Josefina Jaja to Pilar politics in 2019 to virtually control the town, perhaps the biggest taker of shares of the Tobacco Excise Tax provided by RA 7171 in Abra.

Only in 2017, Pilar got a whooping P594.4M from RA 7171, perhaps the number one among 10 LGUs getting tobacco excise tax shares among tobacco-producing towns in the country.

These funds, often abused, are huge factors in demonizing people into dipping their fingers into politics and remaining in political positions for very long periods, a political analyst believes.

Earlier assessments of the Commission on Audit on the RA 7171 share spending of Pilar saw various irregularities sending residents to highly suspect funds meant for tobacco farmers and agriculture development in the town went to private pockets of officials.

The Someras loss last Monday, a final referendum on how the town was run, ended the local dynasty’s foothold. Even worse, they are fighting a pile of criminal cases lodged by the Cordillera police including trafficking in persons after a dozen former military men they reportedly hired as a “private army” surrendered to the military as an aftermath of the checkpoint breach, shootout and armed stand-off at their compound on March 29.