'Hard to replace': Sinas to stay as NCRPO director, PNP chief says

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
'Hard to replace': Sinas to stay as NCRPO director, PNP chief says
Lawyers Alfegar Triambulo and Michael Darwin Bayotas, along with Brig. Gen. Baltazar Israel of the PNP Internal Affairs Service, file criminal and administrative cases against NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas before the Taguig prosecutor’s office yesterday.
Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines — After photographs posted by his own office showed Police Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas breaking quarantine rules, Metro Manila's top cop is set to keep his position as director of the National Capital Region Police Office, the chief of the national police disclosed Monday.

Photos posted by the NCRPO public information office showed the general enjoying a buffet meal with guests, who were sitting closely, not wearing facemasks and possibly violating the liquor ban, spawning calls of "double standard" on social media in the wake of other quarantine violators.

The memorandum on guidelines issued by the Palace at the start of the enhanced community quarantine reads: "Movement shall be limited to accessing basic necessities, provision for food and essential health services shall be regulated, and there will be heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures."

Sinas responded by slamming the credibility of the photos and saying that such a party never happened, later defending the party once more even after he had already apologized for it.

He is now facing administrative charges of less grave neglect of duty along with less grave misconduct.

Speaking in an interview with dzMM Teleradyo, Police Gen. Archie Gamboa, PNP chief, confirmed that Sinas would retain his current post owing to his work in police programs against the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. 

"Yes, I hope the public would understand that since we're here in an emergency situation, if you try to replace him, we will never know. He's incredibly difficult to replace because he's behind many programs in relation to COVID," Gamboa said in Filipino when asked if Sinas would remain in his position.

Gamboa said the reshuffle of positions at the Metro Manila Police was made after some officers were transferred to Camp Crame for the launch of a new recruitment service.

"We have always taken care of their career. When they are removed from a position they will go either parallel or lateral entry or others will receive a promotion," he said.

The Internal Affairs Service of the national police earlier said that it found that the police personnel may be held liable for violations of the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act, and a city ordinance requiring face masks and physical distancing.

Gamboa himself has also said that there may be probable cause to file charges against the police generals who attended the party. 

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