Negros Occidental police chief vows to stay neutral

BACOLOD CITY, April 12 (PNA) — Senior Supt. Ricardo De La Paz, the newly installed officer-in-charge of Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO), vowed that he and his men will stay neutral during elections.

“The police force in Negros Occidental will remain apolitical,” declared De La Paz during his courtesy call to Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. on Friday.

De La Paz, the former director of Bacolod City Police Office, returned to Negros Occidental following the relief of Senior Supt. Celestino Guara.

Guara was sacked by Police Regional Director Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr. of Western Visayas as ordered by Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

Guara’s relief was requested by Marañon himself claiming that the former was engaging in partisan politics.

But Guara vehemently denied it and Marañon’s close rival, Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez claimed having no “special relationship” with the police official.

His relief also came after two successive explosions from M-203 grenades took place at the compound of Mayor Lourdes Escalante in Barangay Punta Mesa, Manapla town, on Wednesday.

Guara will replace Senior Supt. Milko Lirazan as head of the Human Resource Division in the region while the latter is slated to occupy the position vacated by de la Paz as chief of Regional Intelligence Division.

Under his watch, De La Paz said the police force in the province will be “pro-active”.

He also assured that all polling centers in the province even in the remotest areas will have the presence of the police.

Meanwhile, Marañon clarified that he did not specifically requested for the appointment of De La Paz. “It is the order of Sec. Mar Roxas,” he said.

“I only want the police to maintain the peace and order during the May 13 elections,” Marañon said. (PNA)