THE police are exerting efforts to serve the two arrest warrants against Moises Padilla Vice Mayor Ella Celestina Garcia-Yulo and her husband, Felix Mathias Segundo Yulo III.
Chief Inspector Edfel Balibadlan, chief of Moises Padilla Police Station, said they are still trying to locate the whereabouts of the couple, who was allegedly not seen in the town since Friday, August 24.
“We still have no information about them so far,” he added.
On August 24, the town policemen went to the couple’s house to serve them the two arrest warrants for illegal possession of explosives, and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition, both issued by Judge Cyclamen Jison-Fernandez of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 63 in La Carlota City.
The warrant of arrest for illegal possession of explosives has no bail while the other arrest warrant has a bail of P200, 000 each.
Balibadlan said they still have five days to implement the order of the court. An alias warrant will be issued by the court if police fail to serve the warrants within 10 days.
In December 2017, the couple was arrested at Crossing Magallon, in a police checkpoint led by Senior Inspector Allan Reloj, former Moises Padilla town police chief, which resulted to the alleged confiscation of two fragmentation grenades and several other firearms and alleged illegal drugs.
However, the alleged illegal drugs were later found to be "fake" after it was closely examined at the Provincial Crime Laboratory.
Early this year, acting Provincial Prosecutor Rodrigo Diaz said they have found reasonable grounds to charge the couple for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
Both the vice mayor and her husband were also charged with direct assault upon a person in authority, but they were able to post bail amounting to P12, 000 each in April 2018.
Garcia-Yulo, meanwhile, has also filed a counter-affidavit following her arrest in 2017, claiming the allegations are based “purely on highly malicious, erroneous and fabricated accusations.”
SunStar Bacolod tried to contact the couple’s legal assistant, lawyer Karol Joseph Chiu, on Tuesday, August 28, but he could not be reached for a comment as of press deadline.
He earlier said that if there are arrest warrants, it does not mean that his clients are already guilty of the charges against them.
Chiu stressed his clients are entitled to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
He also said there is still a pending petition for review before the Department of Justice (DOJ) and that they are also contemplating to file a motion for bail.