Eleazar to ‘padrinos,’ rogue cops: ‘You will hate me’
MANILA, Philippines — Like his predecessors, newly installed Philippine National Police chief Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar will focus on cleansing the police ranks of rotten eggs.
In his speech on Friday as he assumed his post as the 26th PNP chief, Eleazar institutionalized his “intensified cleansing policy” (ICP) in line with the directive of President Duterte to pursue “aggressive” internal cleansing.
First launched in 2018, ICP involved the cleaning of policemen of their police stations and precincts so they could be good examples to their communities, clearing their communities of crime and illegal drugs, as well as the internal cleansing of police ranks.
He acknowledged the prevailing “padrino (patron) system” and corruption in the admission of new police officers at PNP.
“This early, I am already asking for understanding for those who wish to plead their case, to our colleagues from the PNP, to the retired senior police officers, to my relatives and friends. I’m sorry, everybody will be equal in the eyes of the law,” he said in Filipino.
Eleazar said the PNP had already stopped the practice of patronage politics in the hiring of police recruits.
QR codes for recruits
They would now be assigned QR (quick response) codes.“No names, no faces, only their qualifications would be the basis of their evaluation,” he said.
“If it requires years or decades to completely produce police officers based on pure qualification, so be it. The important thing is we have already started it,” Eleazar added.
He said he would not think twice about removing corrupt police officers, noting that a few “pulis patola” and “kotong cops” tainted the integrity of the entire PNP.
“To the remaining hoodlums in police uniforms, I’m sure you will hate me,” he said. “With the high salary and benefits the government is giving us, I’m sure there will be a lot of people who would want to replace you.”
The first order of business for the newly appointed chief of the PNP should be to compel police officers to wear body cameras while serving arrest or search warrants, Sen. Grace Poe said on Friday.
The chair of the Senate public services committee urged Eleazar to prioritize the use of body cameras among members of the police force amid calls to take stronger measures to protect the subjects of warrants, including activists, from excessive force by the authorities.
The Supreme Court is expected to issue a resolution on new protocols in the implementation of search or arrest warrants after approving it in principle in a full-court session in March.
In a statement, Poe said she was confident the new PNP chief “will most likely take the initiative,” citing Eleazar’s “track record of being steadfast in his drive to improve the professionalism of the PNP.”
“PNP chief Eleazar has been known to conduct inspections and make sure that his officers are performing to the best of their ability. I’m hopeful that the new chief will push for the use of body and dash cameras to help make our police force more professional in the field,” she said.
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