Sinas not yet off the hook despite Duterte's decision maintaining him as NCRPO chief - Palace
The criminal and administrative complaints against National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas would proceed despite President Rodrigo Duterte's earlier decision not to relieve the police official who allegedly violated the quarantine rules, Malacañang said on Thursday.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said what Duterte mentioned was that Sinas would "remain on his post as of the moment."
"And because the President is a former fiscal, our President knows that the criminal case should proceed," he said.
Roque said the criminal complaint was filed before the fiscal's office and preliminary investigation would be conducted.
The prosecutor's office would determine if there is probable cause to warrant the filing of a formal case against Sinas before the court, he said.
"If a case will be filed in country, he (Sinas) needs to defend himself," he said.
On the administrative complaint, Roque said it would also proceed.
"If the recommendation is to pursue the administrative cases or whatever the President has said, because what he said is not to remove now (Sinas), that he remains on his post now. That is without prejudice on whatever will be the decision on his administrative cases, if they will be filed before the Palace," he explained.
Sinas is an appointee of the President, thus, it would be up to the Office of the President to decide on his fate.
Asked if Sinas was not yet off the hook, Roque said, "I think so. What the President said is clear: As of the moment, he stays. But we don't know what will happen in the coming days because the process continues."
A surprise birthday party for Sinas took place on May 8.
Some police officials and officers also gave the NCRPO chief the traditional mañanita.
Photos of his birthday party were posted on the NCRPO official Facebook page, drawing flak from netizens for allegedly violating the quarantine guidelines, such as observance of social distancing and prohibition on social gathering. Celerina Monte/DMS