FORMER Philippine National Police chief-turned-2022 senatorial candidate Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday said that the case of Gwynette Anne Chua who is facing criminal charges for skipping quarantine protocols and attending a Christmas party is not a simple problem of violation of regulations but reflects a deeply-rooted problem on the culture of ‘palakasan’ in the country.
The ex-PNP chief who is running for senator under the Partido Reporma of another former PNP chief, now presidential candidate Panfilo “Ping” Lacson explained that the while he too was angered by the incident, the Filipino people should take this case as a wake-up call to do something concrete to finally put to end to the culture of ‘palakasan’ which he said contributes to lack of discipline and lack of respect to the rule of law in the country.
“The case of this returning Filipino who skipped the quarantine protocol represents everything that is wrong about the culture of palakasan in the country.
“Hindi naman magkakaroon ng lakas ng loob ang taong ito na labagin ang regulasyon kung hindi ito pinayagan at kung una pa lang ay maliwanag sa kanya na hindi pinapayagan ito,” Eleazar said.
“Ang bulok na sistema ng palakasan ay isang malalim na problema na tila normal na sa ating bansa. Mula sa simpleng pila sa pagkuha ng mga dokumento sa gobyerno, paglabag sa batas trapiko hanggang sa pag-a-apply ng trabaho sa gobyerno,” said Eleazar.
As early as he was still the director of the National Capital Region Police Office, Eleazar has implemented a drastic reform in the recruitment system in the PNP in order to remove the culture of ‘palakasan’ that served as the entry point of scalawag cops in the police service.
He expanded the nameless and faceless QR Code system in the PNP recruitment nationwide when he assumed the top PNP post in May last year.
It resulted in the levelling of the playing field for all applicants which eventually resulted in more children of poor families but smart and qualified policemen to enter the police service. It also shattered the culture of the multi-million lagayan system, or bribery, in the PNP recruitment system.
Aside from the ROF who violated the quarantine rules, Eleazar said those who were responsible for this incident must be identified and punished because they put not only public health at risk but also the country’s economy amid the threat of mass infection.
The retired police general added that the hotel where the ROF was supposed to stay should also be held accountable for negligence.