Early this week, the President designated a new chief for the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the person of Dionardo Bernardo Carlos. He took over from retired PNP chief, Police General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar. Carlos is now the seventh PNP chief to serve in the Duterte administration.
Eleazar, in a statement, urged the 222,000-strong PNP to support the leadership under Carlos. He emphasized the track record and professionalism of the new PNP chief and highlighted his trust in Carlos’ capabilities to continue on the reforms.
Carlos’ appointment comes on the heels of a country reeling from the ravages of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. Eleazar’s term as PNP chief, which started in May 2021, was largely marked with ensuring that the PNP worked hand-in-hand with various agencies to instill peace and order amid the cloud of anxiety brought by the spread of COVID-19. Eleazar had his hands full, starting from his home base where a number of police personnel were getting infected with COVID to ensuring that the entire citizenry followed the basic health protocols. It was a gargantuan task to look after a nation grappling with high infection cases and numerous lockdowns. But the nation slept soundly at night because the threats to peace and order were immediately thwarted. Looking back at his short but eventful term, Eleazar did an excellent job.
One of the “innovations” that Eleazar implemented during his stint as PNP chief was to bring the police closer to the people via social media. He did regular updates via video, which were uploaded on the PNP’s website and social media pages. His tours of different parts of the country, with surprise visits to various police stations, drew an online crowd who noted his no-nonsense leadership style, frankness when talking to people, and the way he dressed down criminals – more harshly especially when he scolds erring cops. His method of dressing down suspected criminals who are in uniform may be frowned upon by some quarters, but Eleazar saw this as a necessary tool to dissuade any cops from thinking about any ill actions. His way worked as shown in the steady decrease of crime in the country.
Big shoes to fill – this is not only what will face Carlos on day one as PNP chief. Aside from the pandemic, he will also be ensuring the peace and order of the country as it enters a tumultuous time – campaign season, which starts in February 2022 and will culminate in the general elections in May 2022.
The new PNP chief seems ready and equipped with the skills. An alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy “Maringal” Class 1988, Carlos has served a well-rounded career in all his designations to key positions in the PNP as director for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO) in Visayas, the director for Police Community Relations (DPCR), director for Information and Communication Technology Management (DICTM), director of the Highway Patrol Group, director of the Aviation Security Group, among others.
Add to that, Carlos also served as chief of the PNP Public Information Office and PNP Spokesperson at the National Headquarters and Chief Regional PIO of NCRPO, and also performed staff functions in the Center for Police Strategy Management and Office of the Chief PNP. Highly trained in special police operations particularly in crisis management and response, VIP security, and anti-terrorist operations, he has two master’s degrees in management.
With his designation as new PNP chief, we wish Dionardo Bernardo Carlos all the best as he maneuvers the wheels of the police force in the new normal and amid the political campaign season.