Three police chiefs were relieved from their posts yesterday, with another one to follow, three days before the start of the election period on Jan. 13, Senior Supt. Milko Lirazan, officer-in-charge of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, said.
Lirazan said the relief of the three police chiefs was ordered by the Police Regional Office 6, that stemmed from allegations of their being biased for certain politicians, and for their lackluster campaign against illegal gambling and prohibited drugs.
Ironically, the relief of Senior Inspector Allan Reloj as Calatrava police officer-in-charge came three days after he and four other town policemen were conferred the Medalya Ng Papuri at Camp Martin Delgado in Iloilo City, for the arrest of a suspected drug peddler, and the confiscation of more than P30,000 worth of suspected shabu.
Reloj was replaced by Senior Inspector Rolly Pondevilla, who used to be Escalante deputy police chief.
Supt. Leo Batiles was replaced by Supt. Jefferson Descallar as officer-in-charge of the Escalante City Police Station, while Supt. Simeon Gane is taking over the command of the Himamaylan police force, Lirazan said.
Supt. Antonietto Canete, former Himamaylan police chief, is slated to be the Operations Branch chief of NOPPO, while Batiles will be temporarily assigned at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr. in Bacolod City, he added.
Lirazan confirmed that another Negros police chief is due for relief, before the election period starts Sunday.
Almost a month ago, Inspector Jerry Nacion also took over command of the San Enrique Police Station, police records show.
With the onset of the election period, Lirazan has ordered the 31 police chiefs of Negros Occidental to ensure that the election in their areas will be peaceful and orderly.
He also directed the new police chiefs to intensify their efforts against illegal gambling and the campaign against the proliferation of illegal drugs.
Starting Sunday, all policemen serving as security escorts to local elected officials in Negros Occidental, will also be recalled, as the implementation of gun ban takes effect, Lirazan also said.
He, however, said that local politicians may, after seeking approval from the Commission on Election, employ the services of not more than two licensed protective agents of accredited private detective agencies.
Col. Oscar Lactao, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said they will assist the PNP in conducting of checkpoints in strategic areas of Negros Occidental.* GPB