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In Abra, politics is familial

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BAGUIO CITY—Ilocos Sur and Abra have a common ground where politics is rife with family feud.

While members of the Singson family of Ilocos Sur are pitted against each other for a position in Congress, gubernatorial and vice-gubernatorial posts, as well as mayorship, the Bernoses and the Valeras of Abra are running as a family against political opponents.

Abra Governor Ma. Jocelyn Valera-Bernos, only on her second term since she got elected in 2019, filed her candidacy for vice-governor, while her kins seek top posts.

Bernos was Abra’s lone representative in the House before she ran and won in the 2016 gubernatorial race in the province.

The governor’s father, Bangued Mayor Dominic Valera, is seeking his daughter’s provincial post.

Her mother Bangued Vice-Mayor Mila Valera is eyeing her husband’s former position in the capital town.

Bangued councilor Joaquin “Kiko” Bernos is also running for vice mayor of the capital.

Abra representative Joseph Bernos, younger brother of the late La Paz town Mayor Ysrael and husband of Governor Valera-Bernos, who was gunned down in a town plaza in 2009, is seeking his third term as representative. He is said to be challenged by retired Supreme Court Justice Lucas Bersamin.

The former Chief Justice’s brother, former Abra Governor Eustaquio Bersamin, is also reportedly seeking back his old post against Mayor Valera.

Former Bangued Mayor Ryan Luna, son of former representative Cecille Seares-Luna, is running against Vice-Mayor Mila Valera in the capital town Bangued’s top post, while Councilor “Kiko” Valera is said to be pitted against Mary Anne Bersamin, sister of Board Member Chari Bersamin.

Another Valera, Pidigan Mayor Joseph Domino, is seeking another term and might just battle his estranged wife, former mayor Jannsen Buemio.

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