Eleazar vows to isolate PNP from partisan politics

Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), assured the public of his efforts to continuously isolate the police organization from partisan politics amid the concerns raised by Sen. Panfilo Lacson that the census being done by some policemen in some parts of the country may be used for election purposes.

“We will look into the concerns raised by Sen. Lacson and likewise assure him and our kababayan of our continuous commitment to isolate the Philippine National Police from partisan politics,” said Eleazar in a statement.

Eleazar was reacting to the statement made by Lacson, a former PNP chief and has publicly declared his intention to run for president in 2022 elections, that the data-gathering being done by the PNP is alarming.

Lacson earlier revealed that the PNP, through its Directorate for Police Community Relations headed by Police Maj. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia, has been conducting census in some cities and towns wherein personal information from local residents are being obtained.

Lacson expressed alarm that the data-gathering being done by the PNP would be used for election purposes in favor of the administration candidates.

Eleazar, however, said that the data-gathering being done is part of the efforts to strengthen police-community partnership against criminal elements and other threat groups.

“We take note of the statements of Sen. Panfilo Lacson and we assure our former PNP chief that the information that we obtain from our civilian partners are products of volunteerism and purely intended to strengthen the partnership between the police and the community in the fight against criminality and terrorism,” said Eleazar.

He added that it is part of mobilizing the community to assist the police in crime prevention and in addressing peace and order-related problems in every community.

“The Philippine National Police sees active police-community cooperation as an effective tool in deterring crime and other threats to peace and order. This is a tried-and-tested formula in law enforcement and was institutionalized in the PNP through the Directorate for Police Community Relations,” said Eleazar.

“This was done before and is actively being pushed now, especially that the President has set a goal of totally defeating communist insurgency problems and especially that we are now reaping the fruits of this strong partnership with the more than 64 percent reduction in crime in the last five years,” he added.