By Martin Sadongdong
Newly assigned National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Guillermo Eleazar today revealed he will bring back the enthusiasm to serve and raise the bar of professionalism among his 28,000-strong police force.
Eleazar, who just served the Calabarzon Police Regional Office (PRO-4A) for over a month before being transferred to NCRPO, was among those included in a massive reshuffle of ground commanders ordered by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde effective today.
“I want the police organization to be more professionalized, and disciplined. With higher salaries, there is no place for rotten cops in our ranks so we will raise the level of professionalism in the organization,” said Eleazar, who immediately held his first press conference as NCRPO chief at PNP headquarters, Camp Crame hours after the news broke out that there has been a reshuffle.
Eleazar admitted that his enthusiasm to serve must have been the reason why he was chosen by Albayalde to head the Metro Manila police force, which the latter held for over a year before being designated as the country’s top cop in April.
“I got mixed emotions because I’m just barely starting my campaign in region 4A. But I want to thank Director General Albayalde for his trust,” he said.
“I am committed to continue the programs that our chief PNP started as NCRPO chief, especially his campaign against illegal drugs and the internal cleansing,” he added.
Eleazar will replace Director Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, who was assigned to lead the Civil Security Group (CSG), a national support unit of the PNP.
Eleazar said his first marching orders to his five district directors in the Manila Police District (MPD), Quezon City Police District (QCPD), Northern Police District (NPD), Eastern Police District (EPD) and Southern Police District (SPD) was to intensify the fight against illegal drugs and criminality.
However, concerns were raised whether the number of slain drug suspects will also increase.
“We do not want anyone getting hurt or killed during police operations. It is not our intention for our operations to be bloody. But if it is needed so that our troops could defend themselves, then so be it,” Eleazar said.
He insisted that only those getting killed were the ones choosing to put up a fight and resist arrest.
“I am warning all the drug pushers and users in Metro Manila, stop your illegal activities now and do not try to resist getting arrested,” he said.
Will there be a reorganization within the Metro Manila police force?
Albayalde said he will evaluate first the performance of all the commanders before he decides on the matter.
“I knew some of them because I used to work with them as QCPD director so I already know how they perform. But I will review their achievements and decide on the matter after all the deliberation,” Eleazar said.
He noted that among the factors he would look into are the commanders’ achievements in the campaign against illegal drugs, internal cleansing, and the solving of shooting incidents perpetrated by motorcycle-riding suspects.
He also said that he will engage the regional special operations unit (RSOU) and drug enforcement unit (RDEU) to run after high-value targets and drug syndicates