The control of Comelec over Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental may have ended June 12, but state security forces will remain in the town, Brig. Gen. Benedict Arevalo, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, said yesterday.
Arevalo said he is considering the retention of one or two platoons of Army personnel, that is composed of about 50 soldiers, in Moises Padilla, while Col. Romeo Baleros, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, also told him that he will not pull out the police personnel who were deployed in the town during the May 13 election period.
Both the Philippine Army and National Police deployed 300 of their personnel in Moises Padilla, and two armored personnel carriers, after Moises Padilla was placed under Comelec control due to poll-related incidents.
Arevalo said they have already established security investments or foothold in Moises Padilla, stressing that he will not allow the New People’s Army and private armed groups to reign in the town again.
The retention of government forces in Moises Padilla was also requested by the newly-proclaimed Mayor Ella Celestina Garcia-Yulo and her running mate, Vice-Mayor Ian Villaflor, who will assume office on June 30.
Two incumbent councilors and a former town Liga ng mga Barangay head were murdered during the election period in Moises Padilla.
Earlier President Rodrigo Duterte lauded the Comelec, AFP and PNP for a job well done in Moises Padilla, noting the absence of poll-related violent incident, after the town was placed under Comelec control.
Arevalo said that troops to be taken from Moises Padilla will be redeployed in areas where they are also needed.*
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