Not a few have said that his appointment as Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief had been long in coming.
As far back as three PNP heads before him, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar had been touted to be the most fit and ripe to become the leader of the country’s 220,000-strong police force until President Duterte confirmed that expectation with the announcement of his appointment as the PNP’s 24th Chief.
Before his appointment to the top PNP post, Eleazar, who comes from Tagkawayan, Quezon, was deputy chief for administration – the second highest position in the organization.
He was also the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director. NCRPO got its first Best Police Regional Office award under his command. In fact, the crime rate in Metro Manila went down by a record 62 percent compared to the last 39 months before he assumed his post.
Before that, he was regional director of the Calabarzon police, and director of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), and head of the PNP’s Anti-Cybercrime Group. At the QCPD, he coined the now-popular tag “Proud to be QCPD.”
It is worth noting that in the dreary days of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic when being out on the streets was considered a dangerous undertaking, Eleazar was everywhere, even manning checkpoints while overseeing the Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield from March to November, 2020. And for that job, he was honored in the 119th Police Service Anniversary with an award of recognition for his tireless and unselfish service.
Eleazar, called “Guillor” by those close to him, is a cum laude graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Hinirang” Class of 1987. He was fourth best in that illustrious class that included his predecessor Gen. Debold Sinas.
But unlike his more controversial predecessors, Eleazar has had a career that’s described in the PNP service as “straight and true.”
In fact, in the run-up to his appointment by President Duterte, Eleazar was already considered a “hands down choice,” a virtual shoo-in for the post.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduard Ano and the National Police Commission (Napolcom) were reported to have recommended only one man for the post as next PNP chief when Sinas retires on May 8, 2021. And that was Eleazar.
In a Napolcom resolution, Eleazar was cited for his “seniority, merit, service reputation, and competence to lead the police force.”
“To be appointed as the Chief PNP is a rare opportunity. But (it) comes with the challenges of good leadership, and meeting the high expectation of the Filipino people. I accept these challenges,” Eleazar pledged.
Turnover of command for the leadership of PNP is scheduled at the headquarters in Camp Crame at 2 p.m. today.
During his stint, Eleazar can make an enduring contribution if he would push for the continuation and strengthening of institutional reforms. Over the past few years, the PNP has manifested its commitment to institutionalizing the norms and practices of good governance.