EDITORIAL: Redeeming Influence
For several years the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been suffering from a tarnished figure. It has become a tool for oppression and questionable anti-crime operations, particularly during the time of now Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa whose minions even came-up with a mascot featuring the likes of a comedian turned anti-crime personality.
The organization suffered more damages courtesy of the now retired in disgrace General Oscar Albayalde whose legacy is a cover-up of certain police officers allegedly engaged in covert illegal drug operations, with some of his minions linked to illicit police enforcement operations.
The situation became a combination of tragedy and comedy under the leadership of the “Mañanita”, now retired general Debold Sinas, who while outwardly imposing discipline on innocent civilians was undercover kowtowing with his favorite fellow officers, who found his weakness in appreciating gifts on occasions like a birthday by receiving presents for his natal day.
At long last the Duterte administration has found a crucial chance to replenish the damaged image of the PNP, courtesy of Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar, who was born on November 13, 1965. The new PNP chief is a proud son of Tagkawayan town in Quezon province.
He considers Metro Manila as hometown although he is not a native of the National Capital Region. His appointment apparently left President Rodrigo Duterte no other choice, because DILG Secretary Eduardo Año and then outgoing PNP chief Sinas, while keeping it under wraps, recommended nobody else for the position other than Eleazar.
The new PNP chief has made public his intended advocacies. They are: Rid the police agency of the so called PALAKASAN or PADRINO system as a means to cleanse the PNP of graft and corruption. He missed other practices haunting the police agency, among which are: KAMAGANAK, KABABAYAN and KUMPARE considerations. These relationships lead to backdoor practices that open up the “KABAKAS” or “KASOSYO” intimate deals. What used to be a positive Pinoy trait has developed a negative connotation.
Overall these years Eleazar has projected an image of being a principle-centered man, an officer and a gentleman. The new PNP chief therefore deserves an opportunity to prove his worth, notwithstanding the fact that actions may not probably match his words taking under consideration that his pronouncements on what he intends to achieve, are quiet a tall order. God forbid he might be gobbled up by the clique within the organization.
Be that as it may, the general deserves a much needed popular support particularly for his avowal that the law enforcement agency should refrain from harming people apprehended for violation of health and safety protocols, notwithstanding the pandemic.
He also deserves encouragement for his public pronouncement that his fellow law enforcers should respect human rights and that those apprehended deserve to be accorded with compassionate treatment while under custody.
The new PNP chief laid much emphasis on the necessity to observe due process and let the judiciary determine the guilt or innocence of the suspect who may have been placed under police detention. Rather a very bold assertion which might cause displeasure to others at his level or even of higher ranking officials.
Eleazar deserves the welcoming arms of the citizenry to prove his worth as a redeeming influence.