"Some are saying that he is thinking of running for elective office and is now preparing for it."
I was among those who conveyed to General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar my heartfelt congratulations on his designation as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), replacing General Debold Sinas, last May 7.
News reporters, particularly those covering Camp Crame and the police beat, thought the leadership of the country’s 220,000-strong police force is finally in good hands.
Eleazar solely deserved the recommendation of the Interior Secretary Eduardo Año which President Duterte approved without question.
We strongly hoped the knight in shining armor set out to complete his hero’s journey until his retirement in six months, initiating meaningful reforms in the PNP.
Nearly three months later, however, Eleazar’s leadership has made the least impact in the PNP’s anti-crime, anti-illegal drugs and anti-terrorism operations.
Instead, the nation’s premier law enforcement organization maintained its ill-repute for the culture of impunity among its rogue members.
Despite Eleazar’s reputation as a disciplinarian, at least two policemen have figured in an extra-judicial killing (EJK) of civilians under his watch.
One of the cops, P/MSG Hensie Zinampan, shot dead his neighbor in the head point blank in a drunken rampage in Quezon City.
The cold-blooded execution was caught on a cellphone video by the victim’s relative and went viral on the internet for all the world to see, just like the shooting of a mother and son by a deranged police sergeant last December in Tarlac.
Just days after Eleazar was sworn in as PNP chief, P/MSGT Christopher Salcedo, shot dead autistic 18-year old Edwin Arnigo during an alleged scuffle in a police raid of a “tupada” or an illegal cockfighting at a Caloocan City backyard.
Two weeks ago in Talomo, Davao City, crusading lawyer Hilda Mahinay Sapie and her husband, Muhaimen Mohammed Sapie, were gunned down after airing their radio program Justice Redeemer.
A former official of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Atty. Sapie was a longtime advocate of farmers’ rights.
Last Thursday morning in Cebu City, radio commentator Rey Cortes of DYRB-AM radio, continuing the trend on media killings.
Meanwhile, street crime incidence increased, particularly robbery and theft in Metro Manila.
Recently, the bicycle of a Grab food delivery boy Elijah Sevilla was forcibly taken away from him in broad daylight along Dela Rosa and Palanca Sts. in Legaspi, Makati City.
The poor boy said Makati Police has repeatedly given him a runaround until he gave up. “I expected the PNP to go after the bike thieves but I got no help at all,” Sevilla said.
A senior citizen called my radio program and complained PNP’s Hotline is useless as no action was taken when he phoned in to report a wild drinking and videoke party in San Andres Bukid, Manila.
In the wake of increasing violence and criminality, may we suggest that General Eleazar and his men get down to the nitty-gritty of crime-solving and crime-busting?
It might be time to get off his high horse and go after the homicidal maniacs and illegal drug traffickers.
There is nothing wrong going around the country visiting with the police precincts, making sure they are spick and span with no cigarette butts and trash littering the station.
But one cannot blame some media members for suspecting Eleazar may be thinking of running for elective office nine months from now and is effectively campaigning already.
Some news reporters noted that the PNP Chief has been less accessible and less transparent, and yet always available for photo ops and selfies.
Meanwhile, the country’s peace and order situation is deteriorating.
Not even Manong Digong’s hometown Davao City is safe from bloody assassins anymore.
What’s happening to our country, General?