Eleazar sworn-in as 26th PNP chief

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On May 5, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año formally announced the appointment of Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar, who was sworn-in today, May 7, as the 26th Philippine National Police chief. Eleazar graduated from the Philippine Military Academy Hinirang Class of 1987 ranking fourth in his class.

Eleazar stated during his first speech at the change of command ceremony on May 7 that he will relaunch his internal cleansing policy, which was first implemented during his tenure as director of the National Security Agency.

He stated that one aspect of reforming the PNP is ensuring quality among the ranks of police officers. He also stated that he will order the use of Quick Response (QR) codes for all police officers nationwide in order to eliminate “palakasan,” or a backer system.

“Naging kalakaran na kasi na papasok ka ng PNP, dapat may kakilala ka [It became a practice in the PNP that if you want to enter, you should have a backer], Eleazar explained.

Using the QR code, applicants will become anonymous and will be unable to use their backers to enter the 220,000-strong PNP.

Eleazar also stated that reforming the police ranks entails an order for internal cleansing, which translates to cleaning all PNP precincts, stations, and offices to ensure they are respectable.

“ . . . kung sa bukana pa lang ay mapanghi na ang simoy ng hangin, mahihirapan tayong makuha ang respeto at tiwala ng ating mga kababayan na ating pinagsisilbihan [ if the surroundings have foul smell, we will have hard time earning the respect and thrust of the people],” says Eleazar.

During the pandemic, the new chief has also promised to step up enforcement of peace and order in the community, focusing on street crimes, cybercrime, and health protocols. He also emphasized, reiterating that police efforts shall continuously combat insurgency and illegal drugs.

Eleazar took over as the 26th PNP chief, succeeding Police General Debold Sinas, who will retire on May 8. Prior to his appointment, Duterte bypassed Eleazar by appointing Sinas over the more senior Eleazar.

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