Philippine National Police chief Police Gen. Debold Sinas has replaced Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar as commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, the enforcement arm of the national government in the implementation of quarantine rules.
Eleazar was placed in charge of ensuring the welfare of policemen who are in the frontline for COVID-19 law enforcement work as the commander of the Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force.
Sinas named Police Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Binag as the new JTF-COVID Shield commander.
Eleazar and Binag actually switched post in an order dated Nov. 17.
Eleazar has been the JTF COVID Shield commander when he was still the deputy chief for operations during the leadership of then PNP chief Police Gen. Archie Gamboa.
When Police Gen. Camilo Pancratius Cascolan was named PNP chief in September, Eleazar became deputy chief for administration and retained as JTF COVID Shield chief.
As JTF COVID Shield commander, Eleazar became the face of the strict enforcement of quarantine rules in the country, as he was always at the frontline explaining to the public every new quarantine rules that the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases and the National Task Force on COVID-19 would map out.
He also provided daily updates of the number of quarantine violators and the impact of strict quarantine protocols on peace and order.
Eleazar and Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año took up the cudgels when the government’s strict motorcycle backriding rules were intensely criticized especially in the social media.
Eleazar himself pushed some initiatives to maximize the implementation of the quarantine rules, including the use of social media to monitor quarantine violations, the tapping of barangay tanods (watchmen) in the community-level enforcement of minimum health safety standard protocols, and the ban on videoke and other loud noises when the online and modular-type of learning started.