Abra town mayor’s assassin falls

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BANGUED: The 12-year manhunt for the killer of Tineg mayor Clarence Benwaren ended on Wednesday with the arrest of Ruben Barcena Bobila in Baay-Licuan town.

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The 34-year-old Bobila, who assassinated Benwaren in October 2002, was caught by authorities in Sitio Kileng, Barangay Lenneng.

Abra police director Senior Supt. Virgilio Laya said Bobila was tagged as the “Fourth Most Wanted Person In the Cordillera” for killing Benwaren, 35, during a wedding ceremony in Calamba, Laguna.

Judge Antonio Eugenio Jr. of the RTC Branch 34, Calamba City issued the arrest warrant for Bobila, who was charged for murder.

Abra police has yet to determine who ordered Bobila to kill Benwaren or if Bobila is a member of a private armed group.

Authorities earlier blamed the murder to the New People’s Army, which had created an alliance with then Abra governor Vicente Valera.

Benwaren’s family had insinuated into blaming Valera, who is now in jail while being tried for allegedly masterminding the murder of Abra Rep. Luis “Chito” Bersamin in Quezon City in December 2006.

Valera has belied accusations of a killing spree in Abra levelled against him.

The Abra based-Agustin Begnalen Command of the NPA has not issued any statement on Benwaren’s murder.

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