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San Juan, Abra (April 29) - A MANHUNT operation was launched by authorities against a father and son tagged in the killing of a political campaigner in San Juan, Abra.

A murder case is now lodged in the local courts against Vergilio and Jerwin Timbreza, who were seen leaving the crime scene. 

“The suspects were allegedly responsible for the shooting incident on April 24, which resulted to the death of Mercedita Bragas,” Police Regional Office (PRO)–Cordillera acting regional director Ulysses Abellera told Sun.Star Baguio.

On April 24, Bragas, a farmer and a political leader of National Unity Party (NUP) mayoral candidate lawyer Russel Bragas, was shot repeatedly on the back with an M16 rifle in Sitio Alismogan, Abualan Barangay, San Juan, Abra.

Police investigation showed that villagers heard gunfire in the area around 8 a.m., but her death was discovered and reported to police at 12:40 p.m.

Four bullet casings of an M16 riffle were collected by investigators at the crime scene.

Meanwhile, an ongoing case conference is being held Thursday on the said murder.

“If both camps will agree, we will have a conflict mediation and diffusion between San Juan mayoralty candidates Atty. Arthur Bautista and Atty. Rusell Bragas,” Chief Superintendent Abellera said.

Abellera said the mediation will help diffuse the possible tension between the camps although the police are not putting blame on any side yet.

“The case is still under investigation, let us wait for the results,” Abellera added.

Abellera appealed the public to cooperate and provide clue so the case will be resolved.

“We hope that witnesses, if there are, will step forward because it is hard for us to resolve this case as it happened in the hinterlands far from populated areas. We hope something will come up,” Abellera added.

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