By Tracy Cabrera
Former PNP chief Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar stresses the importance of maintaining peace and order to his men following the death of a teen drug suspect in a Laguna police operation before in this file photo. (Photo courtesy Rappler/Darren Langit)
MANILA — Once again senatorial aspirant, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Lorenzo Tolentino Eleazar, stressed the importance of maintaining peace and order in the country in reaction to the recent killing of journalist Jesus ‘Jess’ Malabanan, who was shot by two assailants while he was watching television inside his family’s store in Calbayog, Western Samar.
Eleazar, who had just arrived in his headquarters in Makati City from visits in Tacloban, Leyte, and parts of Mindanao, expressed sadness over Malabanan’s slaying even as at almost the same time the journalist was killed, Barangay Inspector, Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija chairman Emiliano Muncal was also shot and killed while standing in front of his house by riding-tandem gunmen.
A day before the assassinations, Mayor Darussalam Saguindilan Lajid of Al Barka town in Basilan and his security aide Barad Nuruddin were likewise slain after four assassins on motorcycles ambushed them as they were on their way to a seaside mosque. Mayor Alih Awal Sali of Akbar town in the same province was with Lajid during the ambush; he survived but is still in critical condition.
A fourth incident, which followed Lajid’s murder, saw Corporal Nizam Alijam, a member of the PNP’s Special Action Force (SAF), slain in a shootout between the SAF team led by Major Samuel Mangetag Jr. and murder suspect Jerry Omar Harayin, who was issued an arrest warrant by Isabela City Regional Trial Court Branch 2 acting presiding judge Grace Tillah.
To these violent incidents, Partido Reporma’s Eleazar reacted with conviction to pursue ‘peace and order’ as his focus in his legislative agenda if elected as a member of the Senate.
“Ang mga ganitong insidente ay dapat na mapatigil natin dahil kung hindi ay hindi natin makakamit ang hinahanap nating kaunlaran at katiwasayan. Mahalagang bahagi sa ating pag-recover mula sa krisis na dulot ng pandemya ng coronavirus ang pagkakaroon ng seguridad sa ating bansa kaya kailangan nating pagtuunan ng pansin ang pagpapairal ng kapayapaan at kaayusan sa buong bansa,” the ‘senatoriable’ pointed out.
Since he filed his certificate of candidacy just a day after he retired from police service, the 26th PNP chief has vowed to focus on peace and order but in recent days, he has also given attention to other concerns that pertains to improving the quality of life of most Filipinos, especially those from the marginalized sectors who gave been seriously affected by the economic downturn resulting from the onslaught of Covid-19.
“Uunahin natin ang pagresolba sa problema natin sa peace and order dahil dito nakasalalay ang maraming bagay na mangangahulugan ng ating pagtatagumpay laban sa kinakaharap nating krisis pangkalusugan at gayun din sa mga suliranin natin sa kabuhayan, kalikasan, trabaho, pananalapi at marami pang ibang usapin na mahalaga sa ating sambayanan,” he concluded. (ai/mtvn)