>> Monday, June 15, 2009
BANGUED, Abra -- Abra religious leaders and non-government organizations have expressed fears of an upsurge of political violence and human rights violations in the province.
This, after unidentified gunmen peppered here the house of the brother of a town mayor and a bothched assassination try on a publisher.
Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin appealed to elected officials to work together in reducing political violence and asked Rep. Cecilia Luna to help out in eradicating private armed groups in the province.
Florencio Crisologo’s house in Barangay Calaba here was peppered with bullets last June 2 at 10 p.m., wounding 44-year-old overseas Filipino worker Aurelia Martines y Ortega, 44.
She is a sister-in-law of Crisologo, who is the brother of Tineg, Abra Mayor Edwin Crisologo.
Two men armed with pistols and possible an M-16 Armalite rifle fired at her and her husband Nestor Martines y Limag, who managed to duck.
Aurelia was hit on the right thigh and left forearm. Nestor is a barangay councilman of Barangay Kaganayan, Tineg.
A police report said the house was being maintained by Cecilia Acosta y Ortegas but did not state that it was owned by Florencio Crisologo.
Three empty shells of Cal. 45 bullets were found on the scene along with a deformed slug.
Mayor Crisologo expressed concern over the incident, noting that the target could have been Nestor Martines, a political ally.
The shooting happened after a botched assassination try on a publisher of a newspaper in Abra who tackled allegations of corruption in a cooperative controlled by relatives of a top politician in the province.
This attack was condemned by Catholic priests and prompted denunciations by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.
Mayor Crisologo has urged the police to investigate the shooting thoroughly even as he condemned the attack.
Lawyer Estelita Cordero, counsel for Mayor Crisologo, said her client had earlier been subjected to a spate of criminal suits, most of which have been dismissed by prosecutors for being baseless.