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PNP under Eleazar swiftly acts to relieve Samar police exec

Sinas disappoints anew, says Senate President Sotto

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THE Philippine National Police (PNP), under acting Chief PNP, P/Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar swiftly acted and relieved the police intelligence officer in Calbayog City, Eastern Samar, on learning he sent an inquiry to the local court asking for the names of those “lawyering” for suspected members of front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

This, even as Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed dismay over the violation committed anew by Chief PNP Debold Sinas of health safety protocols during his visit to Mindoro province last March 11, 2021.

Sinas subsequently tested positive for COVID-19 and the police command was temporarily transferred to Eleazar while he undergoes a mandatory 14-day quarantine and treatment. As deputy director for administration, Eleazar is the next highest police official.

In a statement last March 13, 2021, just a day after P/Lt. Fernando Calabria, chief intelligence officer, Calbayog City Police Office, sent his letter to the Clerk of Court of Calbayog City, asking for the names of lawyers representing arrested CPP-NPA personalities, Eleazar said he ordered an “immediate investigation” of the incident that Eleazar also described as “a serious breach of policy.”

The controversial letter of Calbayog City police intelligence officer, P/Lt. Fernando Calabria that resulted on his relief. P/Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar said what the police officer did is a “serious breach” of PNP policy in the gathering of intelligence information.

Eleazar added that after conferring with Sinas, he also sent an order relieving Calabria from his position.

“And based on the initial result of the investigation, what PLt Calabria did was part of his effort to come up with a comprehensive report on the communist insurgency situation in his area of responsibility, which is Calbayog City.

“The pressure of crafting a detailed report apparently took a toll on him and eventually prompted him to commit a serious breach of policy,” Eleazar explained.

The highly-respected and highly-admired police official also said he had ordered an investigation if related incidents had happened in other parts of the country.

“We are currently checking if there were similar actions in other areas. At the same time, we are investigating to determine up to what level of police hierarchy is involved in this incident.

“What is certain at this point is that the PNP top brass did not issue any order pertaining to that, and will never tolerate such unprofessional method of information-gathering.

“We fully understand the sentiments of the members of the legal community and for this, I, on behalf of the men and women of the Philippine National Police, sincerely apologize for this reckless behavior,” Eleazar explained further.

Sotto unhappy with Sinas

Meanwhile, in a radio interview last March 13, 2021, Sotto expressed his utter disappointment over Sinas’ repeat violation of health and safety protocols during his visit to the police regional office in Mindoro Oriental last March 11, the day Sinas also tested for COVID-19.

The Mindoro Oriental local government reported that Sinas did not follow their health protocol by flying in using a helicopter of the PNP, which directly landed at the police regional office, thus avoiding being tested for the virus.

Asked on his view on the incident, the Senate President said Sinas should be sanctioned, either by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) or by Pres. Duterte, who appointed Sinas.

“There is a violation (committed by Sinas),” Sotto said.

“Kung yung mga mayor nga at mga senador at saka yung Senate President, pag nagpupunta sa isang lugar na kailangan dumaan sa triage or dumaan sa protocol, sumusunod lahat, anong meron ang PNP chief na hindi siya susunod sa protocol,” Sotto asked.

One of the controversial photos of then NCRPO director, P/MGen. Debold Sinas taken during his birthday last May 2020. Sinas was not sanctioned after Pres. Duterte defended his intransigence (photo credit: NCRPO PIO).

The incident last Thursday would be the second time that a high-ranking police official like Sinas has flaunted the country’s health and safety protocols, with the PNP empower to arrest and detain those who violated them.

It can be recalled that in May last year, as then police director for the National Capital Region (NCRPO), Sinas staged a lavish birthday party at the NCRPO headquarter where he and his guests completely disregarded the health and safety protocols.

Despite the public outcry, President Duterte even defended Sinas and no penalty was imposed on him.

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