Duterte says Sinas stays as NCRPO chief
President Rodrigo Duterte said he does not want to remove National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Major General Debold Sinas , saying it was not his fault if his men wanted to surprise him for his birthday.
In his public address Tuesday evening, Duterte called Sinas a “good” and “honest” cop.
“The case of General Sinas of National Capital Region… I am the one who doesn’t want to remove him. He is a good officer, he’s an honest one and it’s not his fault if someone will serenade him for his birthday,” he said.
Last Friday, the Philippine National Police's Internal Affairs Service filed a criminal complaint against Sinas and 18 other police officers at the Taguig prosecutors office.
Administrative cases against Sinas and the others were also submitted to Malacañang.
Duterte defended the cops seen in the photos not wearing mask. saying it’s because they are eating.
“There is food (there). Will they eat the mask as well? They have to remove (the mask),” he said.
Duterte said he does not agree in removing Sinas as he studied the merits and demerits of the case.
“I need the person. I need him for his job,” Duterte said.
“They are all competent but you know seniority. It is his time to be there and I do not believe in just firing him because they sang him 'Happy Birthday',” he added.
Duterte said he is sure that if Sinas was informed ahead of the celebration, he will not agree to do it.
“You said, 'the law is the law'. Well, that’s mine. It’s my responsibility. But I will not order his transfer. He stays there until further orders,” he said.
Duterte hopes for the public’s understanding on his decision.
For his part, Sinas thanked Duterte for his trust and confidence to him.
“I would like to thank the president for the trust and confidence. Thank you, Mr. President that you recognized me. I’m grateful that at least the president recognized our efforts,” Sinas said in an interview with reporters Wednesday.
“I did not expect that my name will be discussed there (in the IATF meeting)… the guidance of the president is we will just continue our job,” he said.
Sinas said he never meet nor talk to Duterte after the incident.
“I just reported to the chief PNP (Philippine National Police chief General Archie Francisco Gamboa) and he asked me what happened… I was ashamed that it was the president himself who said he wants to retain me,” he said.
Sinas said he is ready to leave his post if that will be the order of Duterte.
“When the chief PNP informed us to wait for the final instruction, I'm really in both sides, if sabi ni president that I will have to (go)… I told my men I did my best, we did our best as a team so whatever the decision, we will comply and continue our jobs,” Sinas said.
Sinas also thanked Gamboa for supporting him.
“He did not leave me and support me… we will continue our job in NCRPO,” he said.
Gamboa earlier asked for public’s understanding as he cannot just removed Sinas from his post during the pandemic crisis as he has good programs not only to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) but also the criminality in the country.
Sinas hoped everyone will move on over the incident and thanked his men for their support.
Last May 8, Sinas was surprised by some police officials and officers from NCRPO and gave him the traditional mañanita.
The celebration, which was posted on their official Facebook page, drew flak for allegedly violating the enhanced community quarantine guidelines, which was physical distancing and social gathering.
Though they welcome the pronouncement of Duterte, the PNP said this development will have no effect on the criminal and administrative cases they are facing.
“We welcome President Rodrigo Duterte's valid and reasonable exercise of command management prerogative over the decision to retain PMGen Debold Sinas to the post as Regional Director of NCRPO,” Police Brigadier General Bernard Banac said in a statement.
Banac said they bow to the better judgment of Duterte on matters of relief and designation of police commanders to key posts.
“Nonetheless, we agree with the opinion of the IAS Inspector General that this development will have no effect on the criminal and administrative cases that PMGen Sinas is facing,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS