Sinas’ birthday celebration probed for alleged lack of distancing by guests
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police Chief (PNP) chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said Tuesday that he will look into allegations that National Capital Region Police Office chief Major Gen. Debold Sinas failed to implement social distancing during the celebration of his birthday in which many police officers from various police stations were invited.
Pictures of the celebration of Sinas’ birthday was shared on the NCRPO’s Facebook page, showing him blowing his cake and socializing with a crowd of policemen lining up for the buffet table.
“Merong ginawang programa na parang in-encourage ang kanyang personnel na even down to the PCP (police community precinct) na magbigay ng ayuda as part of his (Sinas) celebration. This is coming from different police stations, police personnel from NCRPO,” Gamboa said in an online press briefing.
(There was some program that he encouraged his personnel even from PCP to give assistance as part of his celebration. This is coming from different police stations, police personnel from NCRPO.)
Gamboa’s response came after a reporter asked if Sinas will be reprimanded for throwing a birthday party that encouraged mass gathering which can be a risk for transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Among the health protocols being observed during the enhanced community quarantine was physical distancing, while failure to observe this during a public event is penalized.
Gamboa claimed he was given assurance by Sinas that despite the crowd that attended his party, physical distancing was observed.
“Kung meron man (violations), I will look into it (If there are violations, I will look into it),” he added.
Despite this, Sinas still enjoys the trust and confidence of the national police chief, saying that at the outset, he saw no violation in the holding of the gathering.
“As of yet, I still trust Gen. Sinas. Alam naman natin napakahirap nung trabaho niya sa NCRPO (We know that his job is very difficult in the NCRPO.) But, nevertheless, it is not an excuse for him not to follow simple health protocols and of course we encourage him to do so,” said Gamboa.
“Walang party na nangyari. Ang sabi ni Gen. Sinas, probably nagkaroon ng mañanita. Pero dun sa mañanita ang sabi ni Gen. Sinas is that in-observe pa rin nila social distancing. Now, I don’t think na merong violation ito,” he said.
(There was no party. Gen. Sinas said probably it was a mañanita. But during the mañanita, Sinas said they observed social distancing. I don’t think there is any violation for this.)
Last May 8, Friday, Sinas celebrated his birthday through a “One Time Big Time” program which gives aid to poor families in the National Capital Region.
The program, with the help of police stations under NCRPO, was able to deliver 13,255 relief food packages for thousands of families in Metro Manila.
INQUIRER.net tried to get the side of the NCRPO chief but he has yet to respond as of posting time.
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