After Edsa Revolutions 2 lots of UP grads were enlisted to become investigators for the Ombudsman (A local constitutional institution that is charged in going after corrupt officials). A friend wanted to help in fight corruption in the Philippines. He tells me that to investigate anything in Abra is akin to a death sentence. Its scary because in my home province of Bataan it seems that although we have not reached that point, we are fast going that route. Sometimes I ask myself, what can one man do? what can I do? I still haven’t found an answer.
But, he added, “we also want Abra to stand for something other than gunplay”.
Here the going rate for a Mafia-style “hit” on a local politician was just 5,000 pesos (about 100 dollars) in last year’s elections, according to people in the know.
“That is the house of a bodyguard of the former governor. Armed men knocked on his door and shot him dead during the election campaign,” a local rental car driver said as he showed visitors the sights of the provincial capital.
Despite its natural beauty and rich mineral endowment, many people here live in poverty. Communist guerrillas operate in the lawless uplands, and some towns have been practically abandoned by their mayors, Bersamin said.