The irony of it all, this killing happened during the celebration of the “Abra Week for Peace”
Abra is again living up to its name as “the killing field in the North” after the slaying on December 4 of the aide of La Paz town mayor Joseph Bernos.
Noel Belena, 61, was driving a motorcycle when he was shot dead in Canan village at around 11 pm, according to a Philippine Star report.
The victim is the secretary of Bernos, who is running as representative of the lone district of Abra in the 2016 elections.
Police have identified neither the gunman nor the possible motive in the killing.
Bernos was quick to point out that Belena’s killing is politically motivated; he said the victim had no known enemy.
He stressed Belena is actively involved in his preparations for the coming elections.
Bernos is the brother in law of outgoing Abra Rep. Jocelyn Valera-Bernos, who is in turn running for governor against Ruby Mamsaang-Bersamin, wife of outgoing Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin.
Abra has been consistent in the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) watch list during election period because of the intense political rivalries of Bersamin, Valera, and Bernos clans.
Among those assassinated in the previous years was Governor Bersamin’s brother, then Abra Rep. Luis Bersamin, Jr., who was gunned down in 2006 while attending a niece’s wedding in Quezon City.
Mayor Bernos’ brother Ysrael, who was mayor of La Paz, was also killed.