NCRPO Regional Director Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar’s recent sacking of Eastern Police District (EPD) director Brig. Gen. Christopher Tambungan sends a clear message to the public and to everyone in the police force: he will spare no one in cleaning up the NCR police force and restoring the public’s faith in cops.
Eleazar recently relieved Brig. Gen. Tambungan when the latter was caught berating and hitting a policewoman who didn’t help him in a task. According to the NCRPO regional director, Tambungan was relieved of his post while an investigation is being conducted.
“Any unjustified physical assault by any officer of the PNP to anybody, especially to a fellow police officer, is unacceptable and demoralizing,” Eleazar said in an interview.
“An investigation is being conducted. But because of the incriminating evidence, the CCTV footage, I had him relieved administratively, pending the result of our initial investigation. The result of the investigation will be the basis of my recommendation to the PNP Chief,” he added.
Cleaning up the ranks
The EPD chief’s suspension was only the latest in the NCRPO chief’s efforts to clean up the NCR police force, both literally and figuratively.
Just over a week ago, Eleazar ordered the relief of a Pasig City precinct commander after he discovered that the personnel and people transacting at the precinct were exposed to unsanitary conditions and dirty workplace.
Eleazar gave the precinct commander a chance to clean up their station but when the NCR police chief returned a few days later, things were pretty much the same.
“Sa ating kampanya against criminality, pati sa trabaho natin, kasama dito na naglilinis tayo,” Eleazar stressed. “Sa internal cleansing natin, kasama na ang lahat -- malinis na opisina, malinis na pag-iisip, at malinis na paglilingkod,” he added.
Eleazar is known for his strict enforcement of discipline in the police force, which includes all aspects of police work.
Just last March, he fired EPD director Chief Superintendent Bernabe Balba and Pasay City police chief Senior Superintendent Noel Flores -- a general and a colonel, respectively -- while their respective anti-drug units were sacked for their involvement in separate extortion cases.
In 2018, Eleazar also sacked 36 members of the Las Piñas Police force drug unit for alleged extortion activities. The chief of the station, Senior Superintendent Marlon Balonglong, was also relieved due to command responsibility.
Similarly, Eleazar relieved several police officers for various instances of abuse of authority -- two cops who were caught on camera purposely damaging the side mirror of a taxicab, a cop who was caught on video slapping a bus driver in Pasay City, and three cops from the Manila Police District (MPD) who were arrested for extortion.
These and more stand testament to Eleazar’s honest, no-nonsense approach to police leadership whose effort to clean up the ranks of the NCRPO has earned praises from the public and his peers. According to Eleazar himself: Walang sinasanto kahit ano man ang posisyon o ranggo sa serbisyo.
“Ang plano ko sa NCRPO ay palakasin pa ang internal cleansing,” Eleazar said even as he revealed the crime rate in Metro Manila has decreased by 58% in a recent period.
“Nararapat lang na ituloy natin itong pagbabalik ng tiwala ng ating kababayan at ang peace of mind na nararamdaman nila,” he added.
“If we can be that organization that is truly professional, then everything else will follow. Kasama dito ang pagiging epektibo natin sa lahat ng efforts na ating ginagawa, at lalong pagbaba ng krimen, at ang pagtatagumpay natin dito sa campaign against illegal drugs,” Eleazar declared.