IN an expected move, former Abra Rep. Joseph Sto. Niño “JB” Blando Bernos, who is now the mayor of La Paz town, was elected unanimously as the national president of the League of Municipalities in the Philippines.
Bernos succeeds Ilocos Sur kingpin Luis “Chavit” Singson as the LMP Chair.
This has been an open secret in Abra ever since JB Bernos stepped down as congressman to give way to his wife Ching Bernos.
“Abra, this one’s for you,” JB said in his FaceBook post.
JB’s selection as LMP President is the latest power move among Abra personalities in the government of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.
Also last week, BBM sworn in former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin as his new executive secretary.
“Former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin has taken his oath of office as Executive Secretary before President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. He began his duties immediately by attending the 9th Cabinet meeting right after swearing in,” Press Secretary Rose Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles said in a statement.
“The President said that he is well qualified to be the executive secretary. Having put in so many years in the judiciary, he has the necessary legal background and the ability to deal with paperwork. Plus of course, he is trusted and well-qualified for this,” the press secretary said.
Bersamin was the Supreme Court justice under the Duterte administration. He was the brother of Rep. Luis Bersamin, who was gunned down in 2006, and former Abra Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin.
Lucas Bersamin replaced Victor Rodriguez, who was a good friend and law classmate of former La Paz Mayor Israel El Bernos, who was himself gunned down in his hometown.
Other Abrenians who were appointed to the Marcos cabinet are:
Atty. Robert Peig as executive director of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB);
Denise Florence Bernos Bragas, who is now the Department of Social Welfare and Department undersecretary for Standards and Capacity Building;
Marco Bautista as DSWD undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group;
Atty. Raul T. Vasquez as undersecretary of the Department of Justice;
And Francis Cesar “Panchet” Bringas as assistant secretary for Field Operations of the Department of Education.