Negros Oriental Police Director Col. Reynaldo Lizardo has been relieved of his post effective March 22.
His relief was part of the ongoing investigation on the killing of Gov. Roel Degamo and eight others, and the wounding of several others during the March 4 gun attack at the Governor’s residential compound in the northern town of Pamplona town.
Lizardo told the media he received a copy of the relief order on Thursday, and immediately held an exit briefing with the police chiefs and other unit commanders.
His new assignment was not immediately known.
“This is an administrative process within the organization where a commander is relieved of his current position to give way to an impartial investigation,” Lizardo said.
Police Regional Office 7 (Central Visayas) Director, Brig. Gen. Jerry Bearis, was also sacked from his post as the national headquarters ordered a major revamp last week after the Pamplona attack wherein police personnel previously or currently assigned to the Province are being linked in the gruesome killing.
Col. Alex Guce Recinto from PRO-7 will replace Colonel Lizardo.
Newly-appointed PRO-7 Director, Brig. Gen. Anthony Aberin, led the turnover of command ceremony last Friday at the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office in Agan-an, Sibulan.
Earlier, Lizardo said morale was “still up” among officials and members of the Philippine National Police in Negros Oriental despite a major revamp after the March 4 Pamplona massacre.
“There are no indications that our personnel are experiencing low morale in the midst of the series of gradual transfers taking place in the Province,” he said.
Lizardo said despite the massive reassignments, uniformed personnel continue their day-to-day functions without let-up.
Police activities continued, such as conducting checkpoints, various programs and projects, and undertaking a Squad weekly interactive meeting.
“We at the lower level [of the police organization] will just follow instructions. After all, that is what we were taught to do, as long as it is legal,” Lizardo said. “We also cannot question the wisdom of our superiors,” he added.
Following the assassination of Degamo, the entire 75-member Bayawan City Police force was relieved, with Lt. Col. Stephen Amamaguid named as the new chief, replacing Lt. Col. Rex Moslares.
On March 8, 56 police officers from Sta. Catalina town were also ordered transferred, with a new police chief designated.
The massive relief of police personnel from Negros Oriental came following the creation of a Special Investigation Task Group that is primarily tasked to investigate the assassination of Degamo.
Interior & Local Government Sec. Benjamin Abalos Jr. earlier said replacing the entire Negros Oriental police force is part of the government’s efforts to restore peace and order in the Province, and the people’s trust in the uniformed personnel. (Judy F. Partlow/PNA)