BANGUED, Abra – The battle for the top elected positions in the province will be a brewing match between two influential political families that are in power not only in the province but also in some municipalities.
Incumbent Gov. Maria Jocelyn Valera-Bernos filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) for Vice Governor to pave the way for the gubernatorial aspiration of his father, incumbent Bangued Mayor Dominique Valera, who was earlier suspended by the Ombudsman but was later reinstated for having allegedly spent multi-million pesos for the reversal of the case filed against him.
However, the older Valera will be challenged by former Lagayan Mayor Jentrix Luna, son of former Rep. Cecile Luna, who is also seeking to take back the control of the Luna family in the said municipality while the younger Valera will be challenged by Roger Luna, husband of Cecile and father of Jentrix.
For the province’s congressional race, incumbent Rep. Joseph Sto. Nin֮o Bernos, brother-in-law of Gov. Valera-Bernos, will be staking his post against Dendrei Roce Luna-Ifurong, daughter of Cecile and sister of Jentrix.
In the capital town of Bangued,, incumbent Vice Mayor Mila Valera, wife of gubernatorial bet Dominique, will be aspiring for the mayoralty post and will be contested by former Bangued Mayor Ryan Luna while Joaquin Enrico Valera Bernos, son of Gov. Valera-Bernos and grandson of Dominique and Mila, will be setting his sights on the vice mayoralty post and will be challenged by Buc Roger Luna, brother of Ryan.
Mary Ann Bersamin, daughter of the late Rep. Luis Chito Bersamin and niece of former Gov. Eustaquio ‘Takit’ Bersamin and former Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, will try to contest the Valeras and Lunas in the capital town’s mayoralty post.
Jay Monador Go, brother-in-law of Gov. Valera-Bernos, will be seeking election for the mayoralty post in Bucay town while the wife of Rep. Bernos, Menchie, will be seeking re-election for the mayoralty post of La Paz town.
The mother of Rep. Bernos, Esther Bernos, wants to get re-elected for the vice mayoralty post of Danglas while her daughter Denise Florence Bernos-Bragas wants to maintain her mayoralty post in the same municipality.
Police authorities are making a close watch on the political situation in the province to avoid election-related violence and incidents that might cause its inclusion in the areas of concern that will be declared by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in time for the May 9, 2022 synchronized national and local elections.
From the previous 119 private armed groups that have existed in the province over the past several years, the number had allegedly been reduced to around 38 private armed groups although efforts are being undertaken to dismantle these to ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of the upcoming elections in the province.
Abra has always been included as one of the areas of special concern in the past elections because of the proliferation of election-related violence and incidents that resulted in the untimely demise of a number of local officials and aspirants for various elected positions. By HENT