Upcoming PNP Chief Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar (File photo)

MANILA – Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar on Wednesday expressed his “sincerest gratitude” to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for choosing him to be the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

This, after Malacañang confirmed on Wednesday that Duterte has signed Eleazar’s appointment to replace PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas who will retire on May 8 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

“I express my sincerest gratitude to our Commander-In-Chief, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, for choosing me to be among the instruments of his genuine intention of having a well-disciplined and professional police force that could always be banked on in enforcing the law and in serving and protecting the Filipino people,” Eleazar said in a statement.

Eleazar will be the 26th chief of the PNP, who, like Sinas, belongs to the Philippine Military Academy Hinirang Class of 1987.

He rose through the ranks and has gone through all three of the most senior positions in the PNP as the head of the National Capital Regional Office (NCRPO), then as the PNP chief of directorial staff, the PNP deputy chief for operations and deputy chief for administration.

“To be appointed as the Chief PNP is a rare opportunity, but come with the challenges of good leadership and meeting the high expectations of the Filipino people. I accept these challenges,” Eleazar said.

Eleazar also thanked Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año for always believing in his capability to lead the more than 220,000-strong PNP.

"I am very grateful for the trust and chance given to me by President Rodrigo Duterte and Secretary Año in leading the PNP. Rest assured that we will continue with the initiatives set by Gen. Sinas," Eleazar told the Philippines News Agency.

Very qualified

Año confirmed the appointment of Eleazar whom he described as “very qualified” to lead the PNP.

“I welcome the appointment of PLt Gen Eleazar who is very qualified for this very important position in government. We thank the President for acting favorably on my recommendation for him to lead the PNP,” Año said in a statement.

Through a National Police Commission (Napolcom) resolution, Año said he and the commission recommended Eleazar to be the next PNP chief “based on seniority, merit, service reputation and competence”.

“He has shown his ability, integrity, and professionalism in the many positions he has occupied in the police organization especially as the first commander of Joint Task Force COVID-Shield and as Deputy Chief, PNP for Administration,” Año said.

Año said he expects Eleazar to lead the entire PNP organization to greater heights “in serving and protecting our people, implementing quarantine protocols and minimum health standards, and promoting law and order during this challenging period in our nation’s history.”

“Congratulations, PLt Gen Eleazar from the DILG Family!,” he added

Año also commended Sinas for being ‘a silent worker’ who managed to lead the PNP effectively despite controversies.

"Sinas you know he is a silent worker. He is almost everybody. Nakikita ko na nagtratrabaho siya, kumikilos, simple lang, no fanfare, umiikot sa lahat ng tropa all around the country and ‘pag inutusan mo sya talagang hindi nya titigilan hanggang ‘di matapos yung inutos (I have seen him working, simple, no fanfare, visiting all the troops all around the country and he does not stop until all the works and instructions are finished),” he said. (PNA)