Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, the chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), will be facing criminal charges over the viciously criticized birthday gathering which allegedly violated lockdown rules, the Malacañang Palace announced today.
“Per my latest conversation with Philippine National Police Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa, a criminal case is now being readied to be filed tomorrow against NCRPO Chief Debold Sinas, along with other senior police officials who attended the gathering,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.
He added that the Philippine National Police is getting clearance from the Office of the President (OP) in filing “administrative charges in violation of quarantine rules” against Sinas and company.
“Maj. Gen. Sinas is a third level officer and a presidential appointee; hence, a clearance from the OP is needed for the filing of administrative charges of the PNP. The same applies to the senior police officials who are also presidential appointees,” Roque added.
Rules of the enhanced community quarantine currently placed over Metro Manila prohibits mass gathering and requires residents to wear face masks when leaving their homes. Both rules appeared to have been ignored in viral photos of Sinas’ May 8 soiree which has caught netizens’ ire since Tuesday.
The NCRPO chief has half-heartedly apologized for hosting the gathering but claims some of the photos have been “edited.” Sinas also said that they practiced ample social distancing and that there was nothing wrong about the gathering. The top cop also said it was not a party, but a mañanita, a police tradition where a senior officer is serenaded by his colleagues at the dawn of his birthday.
While Gamboa has defended Sinas’ actions, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año has said that high-ranking officials should exercise moral propriety amid the pandemic and that they should serve as role models for citizens.