Balweg tagged as planner of Bersamin's ambush
- Non Alquitran () - August 16, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A captured communist rebel leader was identified as the one who planned the assassination of Abra Rep. Luis “Chito” Bersamin in front of a church in Quezon City three years ago, police said Saturday.

Freddie Dupo, former vice mayor of La Paz town in Abra, told police that Jovencio Balweg, whom they addressed as “Uncle,” was allegedly present when Bersamin’s assassination was discussed during meetings in La Union and a safehouse in Marikina City.

Bersamin was the political rival of former Abra governor Vicente Isidro Valera, who has been ordered arrested by a Quezon City court for the killing of the congressman and his police escort, Senior Police Officer 2 Adelfo Ortega, in front of the Mt. Carmel Church on Dec. 16, 2006.

Bersamin had just acted as a sponsor during his niece’s wedding minutes before he was shot dead.

Dupo and another suspect, Sonny Taculao, have mentioned in their sworn statements a certain “Uncle” as the planner in the Bersamin assassination but could not give his true identity.

Breakthrough

A breakthrough came when Balweg, alias Ka Rudy and Ka Dawa, were arrested by men of Cordillera police director Chief Superintendent Orlando Pestano in Baguio City on May 18.

The 58-year-old Balweg, who is suffering from spinal canal stenosis, subsequently worked for the surrender of his wife, Carmen and son, Jovencio Jr.

The trio was presented before Philippine National Police chief Director General Jesus Verzosa in Camp Crame.

During the presentation, Superintendent Jess Cambay, former Cordillera police intelligence chief, took pictures of the Balwegs and brought them before Dupo, who, along with Taculao, are detained at the Camp Crame detention center.

“Upon being shown the picture of Balweg, Dupo immediately identified him as the ‘Uncle’ he and Taculao were referring to in their statements as the planner of Bersamin’s ambush,” Cambay told The STAR.

When confronted with Dupo’s revelation, Balweg said Bersamin was killed because of his “debt to the people.”

Police investigators are gathering witnesses to show that Balweg was in the vicinity of Mt. Carmel Church along with his comrades in the New People’s Army (NPA) when Bersamin was ambushed.

“We are gathering reports that the NPAs in Abra are working as hit squads of politicians based in the province,” said a police official based in Camp Crame.

Bersamin’s relatives are trying to convince Balweg to testify in their favor to strengthen their case against Valera, who was tagged by Dupo and Taculao as the mastermind in the assassination of his closest political rival.

Balweg is also detained at the Camp Crame detention center but in a cell separate from Dupo and Taculao.

ABRA ABRA REP ADELFO ORTEGA BALWEG BERSAMIN CAMP CRAME DUPO DUPO AND TACULAO MT. CARMEL CHURCH POLICE QUEZON CITY
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