Eleazar: ‘Exagerrated’ cleanliness drive targets erring cops too

NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday assured the public that their ‘exaggerated cleanliness drive’ not only aims to beautify Metro Manila police stations and precincts but most importantly, ensure that the Philippine National Police’s internal cleansing program will be carried out without any let-up in the metropolis.

“Maagap tayo sa pagkilos kahit sa malilit na bagay, yan po ang Exaggerated Cleanliness. Maliit pa lang ang pagkakamali, dapat i-tama na. Hindi natin hahayaan na lumaki pa o kumalat at pamarisan ng iba. Exaggerated Cleanliness, hindi lang kalinisan sa opisina at ating paligid kundi sa paglilinis din ng hanay ng kapulisan, paglilinis ng krimen, paglilinis ng droga,” the NCRPO chief told the Journal Group.

Last week, Eleazar said two members of the Eastern Police District who were accused of abusive acts will be the latest Metro Manila policemen to join a Subic Bay retraining camp.

“When will we ever learn? There is no room for abusive cops like them in the Philippine National Police. Time and again, our Chief PNP, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde and I have consistently shown our dismay against these scalawags in our midst, and always, we have recommended punitive actions,” the NCRPO chief said in the wake of another report wherein a Marikina City policeman was accused of beating an 8-year old boy.

“In our organization, among the first words that we learned are the words : Service, Honor and Justice. In fact, we have a neat patch with those words stitched to our uniforms.  I fervently believe that most of us in the service hold these words—SERVICE, HONOR AND JUSTICE—sacred in our hearts and minds.  However, there seems to be a small section in our organization, like Ardales and Lapie, that do not know the meaning of these words,” Eleazar said.

The other week, the official ordered the administrative relief of a San Juan City policeman, Senior Master Sergeant Arnulfo Ardales and his transfer to the NCRPO Regional Headquarters Support Unit  (RHSU) of NCRPO in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig City.

Ardales was caught in a viral video verbally abusing and harassing an ordinary citizen over their petty argument. Gen. Albayalde ordered that the cop be stripped of his badge and firearm.  

“As if this incident was not enough, the other night, a policeman from the Marikina City Police Station, Police Staff Sergeant Nicolas Lapie Jr. was caught in another video that has also gone viral. Worse, the video shows physical assault on an 8-year old kid watching a live  basketbalI game at the covered court of Barangay Bambang in Pasig City around 7:56 p.m. of July 7, 2019,” Eleazar said.

The video showed Lapie putting  his left arm around the neck of the boy before pummeling him with his fist. When the victim tried to run away, the policeman grabbed his arms and pulled the boy towards him.  At this juncture, people attracted by the commotion came to the rescue of the boy and pacified Lapie.  

Eleazar said that responding policemen arrived and brought Lapie and the boy to the Women and Children Protection Desk of the  Pasig City Police Station for proper disposition. Lapie was charged with Physical Injury in relation to Republic Act 7610 or The Anti-Child Abuse Law. “Immediately, I ordered the relief of Lapie from his post for transfer to RHSU and he is now detained in the Pasig City Police Station Custodial Cell.  Both of them will be recommended to undergo a Values Formation seminar in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. In those two cases, I have urged the families of the victims to file complaints against these two abusive policemen. I assured them that they and their families will be protected,” he said.

Eleazar said he is pushing for a ‘no ningas-cogon’ exaggerated cleanliness drive in all Metro Manila police stations and other facilities as part of their continuing effort to attract community support.