A day after his assumption as Chief of the Philippine National Police, Police General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar presided over his first command conference of senior police officials including heads of police regional offices and national support and service units.
During the hybrid briefing at the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame on Saturday (May 8, 2021, PGEN Eleazar issued his command guidance in relation to this year’s thrust on peace and order as well as the police’s role in the government’s COVID-19 response.
PGEN Eleazar issued directives to all police units for the strict and systematic implementation of the Intensified Cleanliness Policy which ensures continuity of reforms in the organization and the bridging of gaps for closer ties with the community.
The PNP chief shared and exchanged ideas with the police commanders nationwide in further strengthening the campaign against street crimes, illegal drugs, insurgency, and terrorism.
Ways to ensure strict compliance by the public to minimum health protocols in view of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic were also tackled.
Discussed, in particular, during the meeting was the preparation of detention facilities in anticipation of more arrests based on President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive on the arrest of persons not wearing face masks in public places or those who wear them improperly.
“One of the concerns that needs to be addressed is the availability of our detention cells. Alam naman natin na bago pa ang direktibang ito ng ating Pangulo, may mga pagkakataong kinukulang na talaga ang ating mga pasilidad kung kaya’t dapat natin itong paghandaan,” PGEN Eleazar said.
“Makipagtulungan tayo sa mga lokal na opisyal, kasama ang barangay, para malaman natin kung aling mga lugar sa bawat komunidad ang maaari nating gamiting detention facilities para sa mga sadyang pasaway,” he added.
According to the PNP chief, physical distancing must still be observed in detention areas to avoid the spread of the deadly coronavirus, saying, “Mababalewala ang paghuli sa kanila kung walang social distancing sa ating mga detention areas.”
He reminded police officials of Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año’s order that persons arrested for violation of minimum public health safety standards can only be held for a maximum of 12 hours unless charges are filed against them.
PGEN Eleazar further reminded police officers to observe maximum tolerance in arresting violators and warned them against abusive behavior.