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Abra mayor tagged in village executive's slay

By Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) Updated April 17, 2011 12:00 AM

Dolores, Abra, Philippines  – Tension is building up here as Mayor Roberto Seares Jr. has been charged with two counts of murder in the assassination of a village chief in his town and a bystander and two more counts of frustrated murder of two more bystanders.

Tagged as brains in the March 18 killing of Loreto Barbosa, 56, barangay chairman of Taping, by the supposed 18-year-old gunman Jonel de Mesa, Seares, however, blamed “dirty politics” for the accusation.

“It is purely politics (though 2013 is yet far),” Seares blurted out as he defended the accusation against him, brandishing his family’s record as “medical doctors” in the community who saved lives and not stopping life. “I will file counter charges against my accusers,” he vowed.

One of the bystanders who was killed in the attack on the barangay chairman comes from a huge family and supposedly have connections up to Malacañang.

“Barbosa was my ally,” the mayor said. “I could have not ordered his assassination,” he said.

Five days after the assassination, driver of the getaway motor vehicle, Jomer Bergonia surrendered to police and named De Mesa as the gunman.

A day after, De Mesa also gave up and confessed to authorities that Seares paid and ordered him to kill the barangay chairman.

His confession led to the filing of two counts of murder and two counts of frustrated murder against Seares, De Mesa, Bergonia and Alex Millare who contacted the gunman for the “hit.”

Cordillera police regional investigation division chief Senior Superintendent Joseph Adnol said, “this confirms the crime analysis in (the province) that some cases of murder with the use of firearms are politically motivated.”

But Seares vowed to clear his and his family’s name. “I am doing all efforts for my town to progress, but rivals are trying to destroy it,” the 31-year-old mayor said.

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12 thoughts on “Abra mayor tagged in village executive's slay

  1. where are my provincemate now? no comment ba? it seems that you are avoiding to comment on this issue now that a certain politicians haS BEEN TAGGED AS the mastermind where are the bright boys of abra now?

    Posted by sakz | April 19, 2011, 11:03 pm
  2. sakz, this is a good development but based on the so many unsolved cases that the police has to deal with, this is just a scratch on the surface of the “culture of violence” problem. you have to keep in mind that this is just a charge. we still have to see if the police will be able to protect the witnesses now, during, and after the trial – that is if they won’t get intimated first.

    in addition we still have a lot of high-profile cases that the police has to account for, like the homicide cases of Ysrael Bernos, Atty. Demetrio Pre, James Bersamin, Mario Acena, Cirilo Gallardo and lately Boy Aquino. these are cases that turned cold. the police has still to deal with these. if i were you, i wouldn’t be prancing around and bragging about how good the police are based on a case that is still on it’s initial stage.

    Posted by lorenz | April 20, 2011, 12:36 am
  3. 4-20-2011 I do notice that the cops have not arrested anyone or charged anyone with murder for months until a Governor’s bodyguard was killed. Why is it that the cops solve only the politicians murders and not the ordinary folks in this province ? O.G.

    Posted by OLDGEEZER | April 20, 2011, 11:46 am
  4. i pity mayor jr seares, another victim of political tactics, another innocent turned suspect, another vicsyd valera. Siglat kayo talaga agplano a amen ti turay.

    Posted by marcial | April 20, 2011, 8:03 pm
  5. mr oldgeezer your not updated on the current issues here in Abra. The Police arrested two (2) suspects in the Barbosa Benedito Case that resulted to the filing of double murder case and double frustrated homicide against the Mr. Jr Seares. Let’s give the court the chance to hear the case it’s premature to say that Mayor Seares is the victim of Political tactics. How about those victims killed by those hired killers?

    Posted by antonio | April 21, 2011, 8:26 am
  6. 2 counts of murder filed vs Abra mayor, 2 others

    by Harley Palangchao

    CAMP DANGWA, Benguet – Two counts of murder were filed against the mayor of Dolores town in Abra and two others in relation to the killing of a barangay captain and a resident on March 18.

    S/Supt. Joseph Adnol, head of the Intelligence and Detection Management Division of the Cordillera police command, said that Dolores mayor Robert Victor Seares Jr. alias Jay-R was tagged by supposed prime suspects as the mastermind behind the killing of two and wounding of one.

    Also included in the charge sheet are Alex Millare and Kinkin Millare.

    To recall, Loreto Barbosa, barangay captain of Toping, Dolores died after he was shot several times while Perry Carl Benedito, who was within the vicinity of the shooting incident at Gomez Street in Zone 5, Bangued died in the hospital two days later.

    Two more persons, Helen Bisquera and Jocelyn Masaoay were also hit by bullets but were declared safe after being treated in the hospital.

    Police operatives were able to establish the identities of the suspects who were named as Jomer Bergonia and Jonel de Mesa.

    Adnol reported that suspect Bergonia voluntarily surrendered to the Abra police on March 23 and he confessed that he was the driver of the motorcycle used during the killing and he named De Mesa as the gunman.

    Adnol said Bergona sworn statement was taken in the presence of a lawyer.

    On March 24, Abra police filed a homicide case against Bergonia and De Mesa for the death of Benedito.

    Two days later, De Mesa, 18, who was earlier tagged as the gunman also voluntarily surrendered to the Daguioman police station.

    A criminal case for murder was filed against De Mesa and Bergonia and three John Does on March 28.

    Adnol said that follow-up investigation conducted by Abra police investigators and agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group made the two suspects confess that it was the mayor of Dolores as the alleged mastermind.

    It is not the first time that ranking politicians in Abra have been linked to shooting incidents resulting in deaths.


    Posted by AcomStaff | April 22, 2011, 12:06 am
  7. same M.O., maybe same director, somebody surrenders and names the mastermind, AUTOMATICALLY the police files a murder case. there is nothing new – always the same storyline.

    Posted by korikz | April 25, 2011, 5:18 am
  8. DILG, CHR to probe Abra slays

    By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) Updated April 16, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (1)

    MANILA, Philippines – Alarmed over the reported “blood politics” in Abra, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) are set to conduct separate investigations into the apparently politically motivated killings in the province.

    Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to investigate reports of ties between some local police officers and influential political families in Abra.

    Robredo also said there is an ongoing probe into the brutal killing of barangay captain Loreto Ola Barbosa, 52, in Bangued, Abra’s capital, by two motorcycle-riding men last March 18.

    The CHR earlier had sounded the alarm over the worsening “blood politics” in Abra. “This has to stop,” CHR chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales said.


    Posted by AcomStaff | April 26, 2011, 12:36 am
  9. That’s the best thing to do to conduct a separate investigation on the rampant killings perpetrated by hired killers in the Province of Abra. We, abrenians appeal to you SEC Lobredo and SEC Rosales that you really conduct a thorough investigation on these senseless killings here in our Province. We know for a fact that Local Politicians were behind all these killings.COME AND HELP THE ABRA PNP

    Posted by antonio | April 26, 2011, 8:47 am
  10. good proposals antonino so that the national government will realize that those politicians who are making sumbong to them are behind these killings and of course the pnp are partly blame also

    Posted by sakz | April 26, 2011, 1:04 pm
  11. the pnp needs the support of the national govt. i know a lot of officers who are dedicated for their sworn duties as a cop unfortunately d kaya ang power nila to fight unscroupolous politicians. so pls come and help fellow abrenians

    Posted by sakz | April 26, 2011, 1:15 pm
  12. Maybe I am still dreaming, but I think Abra can still become “political-killing” free province. Here’s my recommendations: 1. PNP should send an idealistic leader from their roster of officers to eliminate or dismantle these so called political goons. 2. Implement a gun-ban for all with the exception of honest PNP and AFP members on duty. 3. NO political clan will be exempted in the gun-ban. 4. Licnsed Guns should not be carried from outside person’s house/property.

    Posted by Genti | May 2, 2011, 1:51 am

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