PNP chief asks personnel to remain apolitical
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Monday reminded all police officers in active duty to remain apolitical even in their social media posts and refrain from campaigning for or against any political aspirant, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
“While I am encouraging all police personnel to exercise their right to suffrage as citizens, they must remain apolitical in carrying out their mandate as members of the PNP,” he said in a video message.
Eleazar also cautioned policemen from expressing their political leanings on social media as such would go against the organization’s non-partisan stance in politics.
“I am reminding all police personnel to be mindful of what they post on their social networking accounts and refrain from showing support for or campaigning against local or national political aspirants,” he said. “These may be personal accounts maintained by PNP personnel but anything posted in them would ultimately reflect on the organization and put to question our apolitical stance.”
He reminded police personnel of the existing PNP memorandum circular containing the guidelines and procedures on social media content, post and engagement utilizing social media accounts and individual accounts of PNP personnel.
The memorandum circular contains a prohibition on social media posts that would be inimical to the interest of the PNP as an organization and prescribes administrative sanctions on violators of the ban.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has also advised its employees to refrain from engaging in partisan political activities.
Commissioner Jaime Morente said employees are strictly prohibited from campaigning actively and soliciting votes and support for their election bets.
“This election season, as public servants, we are expected to remain politically neutral as this is mandated by law,” Morente said in a statement.
He added that the mere wearing of shirts, caps, or pins and actively campaigning for candidates is prohibited pursuant to advisories from the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“This shall cover all our employees, whether they are permanent, or contractual. Employees are also reminded to adhere to the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees with respect to their actions online, and use good judgment in sharing information,” he added.
The 1987 Constitution defines election campaign or partisan political activity as "any act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or party to public office."
He warned that those who will be found guilty of engaging in partisan political activities may be penalized with up to six months suspension for the first offense.
Meanwhile, Eleazar also reported that active cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the PNP has declined below the 2,000-mark for the past nine consecutive days.
This as the PNP Health Service noted a hike in recoveries among confirmed Covid-19 cases.
Eleazar agreed with experts’ opinion that the high vaccination rate among PNP personnel added to the police force’ resilience against Covid-19 by providing protection against Covid-19, and further preventing infections from developing into severe cases.
“The national vaccination program is indeed a game changer in the government’s Covid-19 response,” the PNP chief emphasized.
At present, the entire 222,000-strong PNP is 83.2 percent fully vaccinated, while 14.3 percent are still awaiting the second dose to complete the inoculation, Eleazar said.
As of Oct. 11, 2021, active Covid-19 cases in the PNP is at 1,292 with 103 new recoveries and only 40 new confirmed cases, down from 2,023 active cases on Oct. 1 and a high of 3,214 active cases on Sept. 17.
Of the 40,887 confirmed cases among PNP personnel, 39,474 have since recovered and have been restored to full duty status.
Eleazar, however, expressed grief over the death of 121 PNP front-liners due to Covid-19.
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