By Jennifer P. Rendon
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. has ended the stint of Colonel Noel Aliño as officer-in-charge of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO).
Defensor sidelined Aliño for Colonel Ronaldo Palomo, who was at the National Personnel Holding and Accounting Unit of the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Both Aliño and Palomo are members Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Class 1998.
Brigadier General Leo Francisco, Western Visayas police chief, confirmed that he received a letter from Defensor Monday afternoon stating that he chose Palomo as the next IPPO chief.
“I will communicate the governor’s decision to the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame,” he said.
The national headquarters will order Palomo’s reassignment since he’s not a member of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-6.
Palomo, who hails from Passi City but is now living in Guimaras province, was recommended for the top IPPO post along with Aliño and Colonel Gervacio Balmaceda Jr., who previously led the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Region 6.
Balmaceda is a member of PNPA Class 1997.
Aliño was assigned as IPPO OIC replacing Colonel Adrian Acollador in October 2022.
Amid Palomo’s eventual appointment, there were reports that Defensor initially intimated that he wants other choices apart from Aliño, Palomo, and Balmaceda.
But instead of giving the impression that he rejected the first list, he purportedly chose someone with “lesser baggage.”
PALOMO’S STINT AT BCPO
Palomo used to be a member of PRO-6 a few years back.
In December 2017, he was relieved from his post as deputy city director for administration of the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO).
He was replaced by Colonel Victorino Romanillos Jr., who is now the chief of the PRO-6 Regional Police Community Relations Division.
At the time of his relief, Palomo was being investigated relative to an incident at the Bacolod Bunny Ranch in Goldenfield Commercial Complex in Bacolod City on Nov. 29, 2017.
The incident happened when eight construction workers went inside the establishment and allegedly destroyed a portion of the building’s glass door.
Two Taiwanese nationals, who co-owned the business, allegedly ordered the purported ransacking.
Palomo was tasked to negotiate but sources claimed he sided with the Taiwanese businessmen, an allegation that he denied.
But it turned out that the incident was just one of the last straws that led to his relief from Western Visayas.
During a previous MassKara celebration, he allegedly earned the ire of senior PRO-6 officials after he was caught “hiding some organic BCPO personnel.”
During the festival, PRO-6 sent augmentation personnel to BCPO. Palomo was allegedly asked about the whereabouts of BCPO personnel two days before the highlight of the celebration.
He said they were on duty.
The senior PRO-6 official and other members of the Red Team, which monitored the deployment, conducted a walk-through and indeed found that police personnel were on their post.
But the following day, the senior PRO-6 official ordered that all BCPO organic personnel should wear a uniform different from that of members of the augmentation forces.
It was then that PRO-6 headquarters officials learned that some BCPO organic personnel were “assigned” to politicians and even private individuals.
During the critiquing session, Palomo allegedly did not attend and was later found to be playing badminton.
After the MassKara Festival, he was already recommended for relief by then PRO-6 regional director Cesar Hawthorne Binag.
He was eventually assigned to other areas outside PRO-6.
Palomo eventually got his luck when he applied for the top IPPO and the rest is history.