Mayor Evelio Leonardia asked Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, for more police visibility in Bacolod City amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eleazar met with Leonardia and other city officials at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC), on Sunday, October 10.
“One of the main issues that I relayed to him (Eleazar) and Col. (Thomas Joseph) Martir, is that police visibility is very important, especially that there is still a surge in COVID-19 cases,” Leonardia said.
“We need to strictly implement basic health protocols here,” the mayor added.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said Eleazar’s visit was the first time, the highest-ranking PNP official set foot at the BCGC.
Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran received Eleazar at the steps of the BCGC, where they were joined by other PNP officers and local government executives.
Leonardia said he also assured Eleazar of the continued support of the city government to the local police.
The mayor said the LGU will add at least 12 service vehicles for use of the BCPO.
Eleazar said he paid a call on Leonardia to personally thank him for his help to the BCPO.
“I am also giving my commitment to the mayor that the police is here to make good connections with our LGU in line with our service to the people,” the PNP chief said.
Eleazar said before he visited the BCPO Headquarters and the BCGC, he inspected one of the police stations in the city.
“I saw that the station was neat inside and out. This reflects on the discipline of our police, which we know will be appreciated by our citizens. We also awarded some of our policemen at the BCPO and other stakeholders for their continued support to us,” he added.
Eleazar was accompanied by other PNP officials including PLt. Gen. Bernabe Balba, directorate for Integrated Police Operations- Visayas; PMaj. Gen Bartolome Bustamante, directorate for Police Community Operations; PBrig. General Rolando Miranda, PNP Western Visayas regional director; PCol. Col. Thomas Joseph Martir, acting Bacolod City Police Office director; PCol. Gregory Bogñabal, his senior executive assistant; and PCol. Roderick Augustus Alba, PNP Public Information Office spokesman, who is a Bacolodnon.
Eleazar said he gave guidance to Martir, also a Bacolodnon, to “continue the programs of previous BCPO directors, maintain good relationship with the different stakeholders, and make sure to avoid violence or crimes especially that election is near.”
The PNP chief said he has given directives to Martir “to study the peculiarity of various communities and the dynamics of politics.”
“We also gave a directive to review past violent incidents and see if there are private armed groups operating here. We also make sure that candidates will not be able to raise (election) funds through the use of illegal means like illegal gambling, illegal logging, and any illegal activities including extortion,” he added.
On the appointment of Martir as acting BCPO director, Leonardia said: “I believe we can be more coordinated since he is from here. I am happy because he knows the culture and terrain here.”
“In that sense, he can hit the ground running immediately. No need for any adjustment period. I saw his record and he is multi-awarded. I am sure we are in good hands,” Leonardia said.*