Issue of February 4, 2018
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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P1 M reward for capture of suspects in Abra blast
by Harley F. Palangchao

No suspects in the grenade explosion that killed two policemen and Abra Rep. JB Bernos and wife Menchie, among others, were arrested even as the politicians’ family offered  a P1 million bounty for the brains behind the incident.

The Philippine National Police Regional Special Investigation Task Group tasked to handle the case is working double time to establish the identities of the suspects and the mastermind of the grenade blast that also wounded 11 individuals including the acting chief of police of La Paz.

Still unidentified suspects lobbed two hand grenades at the town plaza while the Bernos couple was joining their constituents in watching the fireworks display at around 1:30 a.m. of Jan. 25.

The Bernos couple along with 11 others was wounded while two cops identified as Police Officer 3 Carlos B. Bocaig and PO2 Frenzel B. Kitoyan were killed by the blast.

In a statement, Rep. Bernos said his camp and the police need the mastermind alive, as they want to know the motive behind the explosion. Bernos, also in the statement, referred to the possible mastermind as “he,” implying the gender of the possible perpetrator.

Bernos also described the suspects as “terrorists” for sowing fear in his municipality and the whole of Abra. The congressman’s wife is the current mayor of La Paz.

“We are calling on our fellow Abreños and all people who may know the whereabouts of this person to help us in holding him responsible for the terror he have sown, for those injured, and for the death of two brave policemen,” Bernos said.

The solon said the suspects and the mastermind have disrupted efforts on peace and development, which his leadership aims to bring in the province that is marred with violence especially during election period.

Rep. Bernos is the brother of the late Marc Ysrael Bernos, who was the mayor of La Paz when he was assassinated during a basketball game in the town plaza in January 2006.

The late Bernos, who was among the four mayors assassinated from 2001 to 2006, is the husband of Abra Gov. Ma. Jocelyn Bernos.

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