With the election season approaching, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief P/Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar cautioned all police personnel against engaging in partisan politics.
Eleazar issued the reminder Monday, June 28, following Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año’s warning to PNP personnel to remain non-partisan or face dismissal from the service.
“Policemen have no business in politics unless they resign and run for public office or openly support a candidate. We have already mechanisms to isolate the PNP from politics and we will make sure that all of these are in place and are properly observed,” said Eleazar in a statement shared to Palawan News by the Police Regional Office (PRO) in MIMAROPA.
“Pinaalalahanan ko lang ang ating mga kapulisan na hanggang 56 years old ang career ninyo sa PNP, mas mahaba ang tour of duty ninyo as policemen kumpara sa mga pulitiko. Kaya huwag ninyong sayangin sa maikling panahon ng kampanyahan at halalan ang mga taon na dapat ay kayo ay nasa serbisyo dahil kung mapatunayan na nakikialam kayo sa pulitika, ang laki ng mawawala sa inyo at kasama diyan ang mga benepisyo gaya ng pension kapag kayo ay nagretiro,” he added.
Six Negros Oriental policemen were recently dismissed from service after the National Police Commission (Napolcom), chaired by DILG Secretary Año, found them guilty of grave misconduct and grave irregularities in the performance of their duty by subjecting then Moises Padilla Municipality Vice-Mayor Ella Garcia-Yulo to an illegal search and seizure in 2017.
After a thorough investigation, the Napolcom discovered that the six PNP officers harassed Yulo because she was preparing to run for mayor in 2019 against incumbent Mayor Magdaleno Peña.
“The incident that happened in Negros Occidental wherein six PNP personnel were dismissed from the service for dipping their fingers into local politics should serve as a warning to all other personnel about the risk they are staking for involving themselves in politics,” he said.
“Gaya ng babala ni SILG Eduardo Año, aking pinaaalalahanan ang ating mga pulis na huwag na makigulo pa of makisawsaw sa mundo ng pulitika. Huwag po tayong magpagamit sa mga pulitiko na may hindi magandang agenda dahil sa huli, ikasisira lang natin ito,” he added.
Eleazar believes that PNP officials should instead focus on devising strategies to ensure that next year’s national and municipal elections be conducted in an orderly, credible, and peaceful manner.