Fortune favors Debold: 'Mañanita' general is next PNP chief

Franco Luna - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2, 12:33 p.m.)  — It's official: Police Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas has been designated the next chief of the Philippine National Police.

This was confirmed to reporters by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque. 

Sinas—known in recent months for holding a birthday gathering during the enhanced community quarantine period—officially takes up his next post on Tuesday. 

The president's spokesman added that President Rodrigo Duterte, who previously defended Sinas, does not owe the public an explanation for the appointment.  "It is a prerogative of the President, he need not explain," Roque said in mixed Filipino and English. 

Roque added: "His track record was checked. Sinas helped the 'war on drugs' immensely. He should keep the 'war on drugs. going and its gains in peace and order."

At a press briefing earlier Monday, Police Gen. Camilo Cascolan acknowledged rumors that Sinas may be tapped to head the national police.

Roque's announcement came shortly after Cascolan's pronouncement. 

Speaking at a press briefing in Camp Crame on Monday morning, Police Gen. Camilo Cascolan, the current PNP chief, acknowledged rumors that Sinas may be tapped to head the national police.

Cascolan is set to retire once he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on Tuesday, just two months after taking the helm of the Philippine National Police. 

"A lot is being said, but I still haven't taken and gotten any order, any word from our good president," the police chief said. 

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

Asked if Sinas was among the names proposed, Cascolan added: "I was never asked for any recommendation."

"I'm very grateful for this chance to serve, even if it's just two months. I'm happy for this chance," Cascolan also said, giving himself a "9.5" out of 10 rating for his term. 

'Deserves a promotion' 

Over the six months of the coronavirus-induced quarantine, Sinas made headlines twice: first for violating quarantine protocols at a birthday party during the enhanced community quarantine, and later, for an eviction attempt on a family in Taguig. 

Cascolan has not been shy about where he stands on Sinas. In September, he said that the mañanita celebrant deserves a promotion in the future.

"We have to evaluate him properly. The guy deserves also an evaluation and of course, a promotion, too...that's all I can really say. I think he has to be up at the Directorial Staff or a certain position that is fit most especially for him," Cascolan said then. 

"He is an expert, most especially with regard to the training of personnel and training of recruits," he added. 

READ: Mañanita celebrant Sinas likely to receive promotion, PNP chief says

This was the same logic employed by former police chief Archie Gamboa in defending Sinas earlier in May when he said that Sinas was "incredibly difficult to replace because he's behind many programs." 

No less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself defended and practically cleared Sinas for his violations, calling him a "good" and "honest" officer. 

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