Three police chiefs reshuffled

Police Colonel Rainerio De Chavez, provincial director of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo), presides over the turnover of command between incoming Police Major Jerald Muya (left) and outgoing Police Captain Armel Lasap (right) in rites held in Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Nocppo)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo) has assigned new police chiefs in three localities with recent insurgency-related incidents.

However, Police Captain Judesses Catalogo, public information officer of Nocppo, clarified that their reassignment had nothing to do with the incidents but was more about their career development.

Catalogo said that Police Colonel Rainerio de Chavez, Nocppo director, ordered the reassignment effective May 21.

Police Major Ronald Santillan was relieved as police chief of Calatrava Municipal Police Station after serving the town for two years.

Santillan swapped posts with Police Major Wilfredo Benoman Jr., deputy chief of Talisay City Police Station.

In La Castellana, Police Major Rhojn Darell Nigos, deputy chief of the Provincial Operations and Management Unit at the provincial police headquarters, assumed the post of Police Major Sherwin Fernandez, who was reassigned as deputy chief of the 2nd Negros Occidental Provincial Mobile Force Company (Nocpmfc) based in Hinigaran.

Catalogo said De Chavez assigned Nigos to La Castellana because he is familiar with the terrain, having served there last year. He added that this familiarity would be advantageous for Nocppo, especially regarding insurgency-related incidents.

“He was challenged by the provincial director that if he was able to control incidents before, then we expect he could do it again this time,” Catalogo said, adding that Nigos accepted the challenge and vowed to restore peace and order in the town.

Police Captain Armel Lasap relinquished his post to Police Major Jerald Muya, deputy chief of the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (PDEU). Lasap remains at the police station as Muya’s deputy chief.

Muya’s vacated post will be assumed by Police Captain Richfield Presquito, according to Catalogo.

The Army reported that the NPA admitted in their press releases to recent killings, including those of Danny Boy Bartolome in La Castellana on April 11, village watchman Alexander Alquizar in Calatrava on April 20, Albert Goles in Barangay Inolingan, Moises Padilla on April 24, and a person with disability (PWD) Armando Binaloac in La Castellana on May 9.

A village councilor was also killed in La Castellana on May 1, but the NPA denied involvement. Catalogo said a Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) has been activated to thoroughly investigate the incident.

Calatrava Mayor Marilyn Era condemned the killings perpetrated by the NPA in the town and appealed for them to surrender to the government.

“I personally condemn the killing incidents that happened in my municipality without a valid reason for killing people. That is why I am pleading to my brothers on the other side to please come and join us. Join the government because the government is ready to help you,” Era said in her message as head of the Municipal Local Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict.

The Army reported that a total of five persons were reportedly killed by the NPA in Calatrava this year.

In a statement, Lieutenant Colonel Arnel Calaoagan, commander of the Army’s 79th Infantry Battalion (IB), said they support the mayor’s plea for the NPA to surrender or face the full might of their capability to serve the people and secure the land.


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