Eleazar: ‘Policemen have no business in politics,’ don’t dip fingers in it
MANILA, Philippines — With less than a year before the national elections, members of the nation’s police force have been warned by its top official against engaging in partisan politics.
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar said police officers “have no business in politics” unless they resign and run for an elective post or openly support a candidate.
“Aking pinaaalalahanan ang ating mga pulis na huwag na makigulo pa o makisawsaw sa mundo ng pulitika. Huwag po tayong magpagamit sa mga pulitiko na may hindi magandang agenda dahil sa huli, ikasisira lang natin ito,” the chief said in a statement.
(I am reminding our policemen to not be involved in the world of politics. Let us not be used by politicians who have bad intentions, this will only ruin us.)
Eleazar said they now have “mechanisms to isolate PNP from politics and we will make sure that all of these are in place and are properly observed.”
The PNP chief issued this reminder to all police officers following Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año’s warning to members of law enforcement to remain non-partisan after the recent dismissal of six Negros Oriental policemen involved in political harassment.
The National Police Commission (Napolcom), chaired by Año, found the officers guilty of grave misconduct and grave irregularities in the performance of their duty by subjecting then Moises Padilla Municipality Vice-Mayor Ella Garcia-Yulo to an illegal search and seizure in 2017.
“The incident that happened in Negros Occidental wherein six PNP personnel were dismissed from the service for dipping their fingers into local politics should serve as a warning to all other personnel about the risk they are staking for involving themselves in politics,” Eleazar said.
“Pinaalalahanan ko lang ang ating mga kapulisan na hanggang 56 years old ang career ninyo sa PNP, mas mahaba ang tour of duty ninyo as policemen kumpara sa mga pulitiko. Kaya huwag ninyong sayangin sa maikling panahon ng kampanyahan at halalan ang mga taon na dapat ay kayo ay nasa serbisyo dahil kung mapatunayan na nakikialam kayo sa pulitika, ang laki ng mawawala sa inyo at kasama diyan ang mga benepisyo gaya ng pension kapag kayo ay nagretiro,” he added.
(I am reminding our policemen that your career in the PNP will be until you’re 56 years old. Your duty as a policeman is longer than a politician. Don’t waste the years you should have been in service for the short period of campaigning and elections because if you are proven to be involved in politics, you will lose a lot including pension benefits when you retire.)
Eleazar urged PNP personnel to focus instead on coming up with measures to ensure orderly, credible, and peaceful national and local elections next year.
“Ang ating pagtuunan ng pansin ay kung paano makatutulong ang PNP na matiyak ang malinis at maayos na halalan sa 2022,” Eleazar said.
(Let us focus on how the PNP can help ensure a clean and organized election in 2022.) — Faith Yuen Wei Ragasa, Inquirer trainee
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