Guillermo Eleazar is a former chief of the Philippine National Police and general whose stint ended when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 56. During his six-month term as PNP chief, Eleazar’s main thrust was towards a modernized police force. He instituted reforms including an online reporting system, a QR code system for police applicants, and the usage of body-worn cameras when carrying out warrantless arrests.
Per data collated by the Third World Studies Center of the University of the Philippines Diliman, the Duterte administration’s flagship campaign against illegal drugs continued to average three killings per day as the country grappled with the coronavirus pandemic. The killings in Metro Manila tapered off once Eleazar was appointed head of the national police but continued in other areas around the country.
Soon after his mandatory retirement from service in November 2021, Eleazar filed his candidacy for senator under Partido Reforma which is fielding Sen. Panfilo Lacson as its standard-bearer for the 2022 polls.
“Ang focus ko ay ang aking paglilingkod sa kapulisan hanggang sa last day of my service at talagang sinabi ko sa sarili ko na hindi ako magre-retire nang maaga. But along the way ay nahikayat na makatulong, makapagtrabaho pa (sa gobyerno).”
If elected, Eleazar says he will continue to go after dirty cops by pushing for laws strengthening the PNP Internal Affairs Service, promote health and safety through programs like the National Health Map, ensure livelihood and food for each home and provide the youth with adequate protection and support.
GUILLERMO LORENZO TOLENTINO ELEAZAR
Full Name: Guillermo Lorenzo Tolentino Eleazar
Birthday: Nov. 13, 1965 (Age 58)
Birthplace: Tagkawayan, Quezon
Languages Spoken: Filipino, English
Parents: Victor Eleazar, father, Staff Sergeant and World War II veteran
Siblings: Carlo Eleazar, an engineer by training, incumbent mayor of Tagkawayan, Quezon, 2019-present
Marital Status: Married, Lally Hernandez
Children: Four children
Profession/Occupation: Retired Police Officer
- Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Philippine Christian University
- Philippine Military Academy Class Hinirang, 1987
- Chief, Philippine National Police, May 5-Nov. 13, 2021
- Deputy Chief for Administration, PNP, September 2020 – May 2021
- Deputy Chief for Operations, PNP, January 2020-September 2020
- Commander, PNP’s Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force
- Commander, Joint Task Force COVID Shield, March 2020-November 2020
- Chief of Directorial Staff, PNP, Oct. 16, 2019 to January 2020
- Regional Director, National Capital Region Police Office, June 1, 2018-Oct. 16, 2019
- Regional Director, Police Regional Office Calabarzon, Apr. 18, 2018-June 1, 2018
- District Director, Quezon City Police District, July 1, 2016 –Apr. 18, 2018
Guillermo Eleazar served for over three decades in law enforcement, gaining a reputation as a strict unit leader.
However, from July 2016 to December 2018, the Quezon City police which Eleazar headed as director for most of that time period killed some 407 illegal drug suspects, according to PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency data. Still, his appointment to the top cop position from May 2021 to November 2021, brief as it would be, was welcomed by many quarters, including former PNP chief and Sen. Lacson as well as Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Roberto Cadiz.
In his capacity as chief of the 220,000-strong police force, Eleazar oversaw modernization and accountability initiatives for the PNP including the passage of guidelines for body-worn cameras during operations, as well as the online complaint platform E-Sumbong to report corrupt officers. However, he also pushed back against criticisms of the war on drugs and the anti-insurgency campaign. He welcomed possible probes but also asserted that the justice system is working for victims of killer cops.
In June 2021, Eleazar initially supported President Duterte’s suggestion to arm anti-crime volunteers for their own protection. In response to concerns about a possible rise in vigilantism and an increase in loose guns due to the new policy, Eleazar stressed that the anti-crime volunteers will remain civilians, will not be provided with firearms by the government and will be required to undergo the appropriate process for licensing and permitting. He would further emphasize these limitations in July 2021, when the PNP and the interior department began operations against private armed groups in preparation for the 2022 elections, with about 130 armed groups being monitored in Mindanao alone per the National Task Force in the Disbandment of PAGs.
Eleazar also routinely claims it was under his leadership that the national police was able to shatter the culture of “padrino” in the recruitment system, which he says flushed out dirty cops from the PNP’s ranks.