The Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 has relieved the provincial police director of South Cotabato as part of a routine reshuffle in preparation for the May 13 midterm national and local elections.
Senior Supt. Randolph Delfin, who served as South Cotabato's provincial police director in the last 18 months, confirmed his relief on Monday based on an order dated March 11 issued by the PRO 12.
"I was reassigned as chief of the regional (PRO 12) directorial staff," the police official said.
Delfin, who is a member of the Philippine National Police Academy class of 1984, was replaced as officer-in-charge (OIC) by Supt. James Gulmatico, who was the former South Cotabato deputy provincial police director for administration.
He was intelligence chief of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations-Northern Luzon before he assumed in September 2011 as South Cotabato provincial police director.
The police official said he is confident with Gulmatico's capabilities as his replacement and in making sure that the area's stable peace and order situation would be sustained, especially during the upcoming elections.
He urged the police chiefs of the province's 10 towns and lone city to give their full support to the new provincial police leadership.
"I hope they remain fully committed and not become complacent with regards to the security of the province," he said.
The official said Supt. Gulmatico will likely remain as OIC of the South Cotabato police until the end of the election period on June 12 or the selection and recommendation of the full-fledged provincial director by the winning provincial governor.
"I hope they will choose somebody who can really take good care of South Cotabato. This is a very progressive and beautiful province but if peace is not sustained here everything will be useless," he said.
Delfin's earlier appointment as provincial police director was endorsed by incumbent South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr., who is seeking a second consecutive term as governor in the May polls.
Pingoy, who is aligned with Vice President Jejomar Binay's United Nationalist Alliance, is facing a three-cornered gubernatorial race with South Cotabato (2nd District) Rep. Daisy Avance-Fuentes of the Liberal Party-Nationalist People's Coalition alliance and former Koronadal City Mayor Fernando Miguel of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats.
Meantime, Gulmatico vowed to exert all necessary efforts to ensure that the province's peace and order situation will remain stable, specifically during the run-up to the May 13 elections.
"We will continue with the programs started by the previous leadership and we will initiate some more to better serve the public," he said.