Retired PNP chief Eleazar to file as substitute candidate for senator on Monday

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Retired PNP chief Eleazar to file as substitute candidate for senator on Monday
Photo shows retired PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar formally introduced as a senatorial candidate of Partido Reporma party at an activity in Pampanga on Sunday. 

MANILA, Philippines — Retired PNP chief Guillermo Eleazar is officially a member of Partido Reporma alongside Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who are running for president and vice president.

The former police general, who retired from his post Saturday, was introduced as a senatorial candidate of the party at an activity in Pampanga on Sunday.

He is expected to file his certificate of candidacy on Monday, the last day for substitution of canddiates. 

"I accept the challenge to work for the vision of genuine reform and transformation for the Filipino people," Eleazar said at the event. 

Eleazar as PNP chief

During his term as chief of the national police, Eleazar instituted the modernized E-Sumbong system, implemented a QR code system for police applicants, and ushered in guidelines on joint operations with the PDEA as well as body-worn cameras for cops. 

While he was vocal about the PNP's need for internal cleansing, he also routinely defended instances of abuse by cops that occurred under his watch. He also implied that activists 

READ: PNP brushes off criticisms as groups call for review of issuance, service of warrants

Eleazar brushed off longstanding concerns of human rights violations during anti-narcotics operations, saying the PNP cannot give weight to all of them in the absence of "proof."

“There will always be accusations of police abuse in all manner of our operations but if we were to give weight to all these attributions of wrongdoing on our policemen, even without proof, we would no longer be able to effectively fulfill our mandate," Eleazar said in a statement sent to reporters in June. 

“While we acknowledge the concern of these groups, we would like to assure them that the PNP has not been remiss in ensuring that police operations are legitimately conducted.”

"China desks" at PNP offices are also seen to proceed within the year after a meeting with Chinese law enforcement counterparts that took place during Eleazar's term.

As PNP chief, Eleazar also consistently brought up the singular conviction of Kian Delos Santos' cop-killers as proof that the justice system is working for the families of "drug war" victims searching for justice. 

READ: After Duterte's UN tirade, PNP chief boasts 'active role' in drug war review

The police chief also implied that the targeting of activists and government critics in many of its operations was a mere coincidence, saying red-tagged activists just happened to be members of progressive groups when they were arrested.

'Public service in a different field'

In a statement, Eleazar's camp said that it was Partido Reporma standard-bearer Lacson who convinced Eleazar to run for the Senate. 

Eleazar, during his term, also defended PNP-linked civilian advocacy groups collecting people's data, an initiative that Lacson himself questioned. 

READ: Lacson: Why is the PNP looking for 'force multipliers' abroad?

Lacson, himself a former PNP chief, expressed his support for Eleazar in a separate statement also issued Sunday.

"He wants to continue serving the nation. As far as I know he wants to continue his public service in a different field," he said in an interview with DYHB radio.

"[We] expect the former PNP Chief to bring his toughness on crime and police abuse to the Senate with respect to legislation relevant to peace and order."

with a report from Bella Perez-Rubio 



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