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Duterte, PNP chief back Eleazar handling of rogue cop’s case

Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar

NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office chief, Director Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday got  President Duterte and his two other top security officials as his backers on his controversial handling of a rogue Eastern Police District anti-narcotics agent.

President Duterte assured Eleazar, a member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987 that he believes he did what is right when he confronted Police Officer 2 Mario Quibete, a member of the EPD Drug Enforcement Unit arrested for a ‘bangketa/hulidap’ operation.

An angry Eleazar confronted Quibete right after he was arrested by members of the NCRPO Regional Drug Enforcement Unit in an entrapment operation in Pasig City. The cop was caught in the act of receiving P20,000 in marked money from the live-in partner of a confessed drug user in exchange for the dropping of criminal charges against him.

The NCRPO chief literally lost his temper after seeing the rogue policeman and rained expletives on him although he denied slapping, pulling the hair and punching the chest of the latter.

“Ilan na lang natitira na puro matitino na? Kaya itong pulis, everyday there’s always an idiot. Nahuhuli,” President Duterte said in a speech during the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) anniversary in Malacañang.

The former Davao City mayor also lamented that Eleazar “was criticized for that.” “Sir, sabihin mo kay Eleazar, okay ‘yun. Eh ano ba naman ‘yung ganun-ganon? Sabihin mo I have his back covered,” he said.

Both Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año and Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde likewise backed Eleazar.

In a statement, Sec. Año said Eleazar’s action was a “manifestation of his frustration” over erring policemen who continue to tarnish the image of the entire police force. “While General Eleazar has already publicly apologized, his outburst was understandable given the circumstances,” the DILG chief said.

“It was a classic case of a ‘father losing his cool over his son’s misbehavior’ with the goal of correcting it and sending a message to his other children that bad behavior will not be tolerated in his household,” he added.

Gen. Albayalde also defended the NCRPO chief from his outburst, saying he could have done more if he was in Eleazar’s shoes.

“Baka hindi lang ganoon ang nangyari. Talagang kung minsan talaga, even when I was the regional director ng NCRPO, talagang sa init ng ulo, dahil sa sama ng loob mo rin, na bakit meron pang ganyan, [this happens],” Albayalde said in a television interview.