By Ranie S. Azue
With the untimely exit of Senior Supt. Celestino Guara Jr., Senior Supt. Ricardo Dela Paz takes over the post as director of the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office.
In a directive, Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, director of Police Regional Office 6, ordered Guara to report back to the regional PNP headquarters at Camp Martin Delgado in Iloilo City, as he designated Dela Paz as the new acting NOPPO director effective yesterday.
Dela Paz, former director of the Bacolod City Police Office and R2 deputy director for intelligence, confirmed that he already received the order yesterday but he is set to officially assume the post today.
The relief of Guara came after Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. pushed for his removal from the NOPPO by writing a petition addressed to Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.
According to Dela Paz, the one day delay in his assumption of the NOPPO post was due to some pending obligations as R2 head that he has to fix before he can leave the post.
When asked about the transfer of Guara, Dela Paz refused to comment other than stressing that he was directed by Gen. Cruz to prepare for the incoming elections and ensure the conduct of safe and fair May 13 polls.
The former R2 head said that he is very much aware of the intense political intramurals in Negros Occidental having been born and raised in the province and had served as chief of police of different towns and cities.
Dela Paz said he will make sure that all police personnel under his command will remain apolitical, as he assured that he does not want any police personnel to be politically attached to any candidate vying for an elective post in the upcoming polls.
Dela Paz added that he will immediately coordinate with the Philippine Army and the Commission on Elections to plan out their strategy in making the coming elections secure and fair or SAFE./WDJ