By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Martin Diño yesterday confirmed Moises Padilla Vice Mayor Ella Garcia-Yulo and her husband, Felix Mathias Segundo Yulo, are expected to surrender within the next few days.
The couple are currently wanted on illegal possession of explosives and firearms charges.
In a press conference, which included the vice mayor’s brother, Jose Marcelino Garcia, Diño refused to reveal when and where the couple will surrender, but said they are concerned for their safety.
“They have already sent surrender feelers, that’s why I’m coordinating [with them],” he said. In addition, the cabinet official said he is also coordinating with DILG Undersecretary Nestor Quisay, who heads the Bureau of Jail and Management; and Undersecretary Bernardo Floreco, who handles police matters. The two have also been coordinating with Police Regional Office-6 director, Police Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao
Diño said the vice mayor could file a leave of absence in the meantime.
The DILG official, who was in Bacolod City for a store opening, is also scheduled to meet with barangay captains from across Negros.
Last month, the La Carlota City Regional Trial Court-Branch 63 issued a warrant of arrest against the vice mayor and her husband following their arrest last year at a police checkpoint.
The charges stemmed from two fragmentation grenades recovered from Garcia-Yulo’s vehicle after Moises Padilla municipal police chief, then under Police Chief Inspector Alan Reloj, conducted a search at the said checkpoint.
Garcia-Yulo and her husband are reportedly in hiding, despite the vice mayor previously filing a counter-affidavit, claiming the allegations are based “purely on highly malicious, erroneous and fabricated accusations.”
She also questioned the legality of the checkpoint and subsequent search, and claimed she was forcibly dragged out of her vehicle and handcuffed./DGB, WDJ