THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc has approved the recommendation of the Western Visayas Regional Joint Security Control Center placing the town of Moises Padilla under Comelec control.
Comelec-Western Visayas Director Jose Nick Mendros said Comelec Commissioner Antonio Kho will be arriving in Bacolod City to discuss an action plan with the heads of the local Comelec, police, and military.
A Comelec control committee task force will also be set up while the entire police force in the town will be replaced Monday, May 6.
Brigadier General Benedict Arevalo, Commander of the 303rd Brigade of the Philippine Army, revealed that Comelec Commissioner Al Parreno has called him and gave him the go signal to prepare for a Comelec control of Moises Padilla.
Moises Padilla was under Category Red base on the recommendation of the Provincial Joint Security Control Center. It was recommended to be placed under Comelec control after the ambush of Municipal Councilor Jose Antonio Garcia and his uncle Mark Garcia.
The Negros Occidental Provincial Police Office, through spokesman Major Edison Garcia, confirmed Sunday that there will be a turnover of command at the Moises Padilla Police Station Monday.
The entire police force of the town will be replaced effective Monday, he said.
Garcia said they were waiting for a copy of the Comelec resolution.
Arevalo said that once a local government is placed under Comelec control, the Comelec will take over the disbursement of funds and other administrative functions.
Comelec has yet to name the caretaker of the town.
Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Acollador was assigned by NOCPO Director Romeo Baleros as commander of Moises Padilla, La Castellana, and Isabela (MOLAI).
In a related development, Arevalo warned those accusing him of being biased in handling the situation in Moises Padilla that such unfounded allegations against him could be a basis for libel.
“That's just part of the political games. I asked them to spare me from politics because I have so many important things to do to see to it that the election is secure and safe,” Arevalo said.
“I have already declared that we are apolitical and we don't side with anybody. That's my instruction to secure everybody and we don't choose anyone. Their accusations are baseless and based on hearsays,” he added.