Gamboa orders IAS to probe Sinas for disregarding distancing during party
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Archie Gamboa has ordered the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) to conduct an investigation on Metro Manila police chief Major Gen. Debold Sinas for alleged violation of health protocols during his birthday celebration.
“IAS has been directed by PNP chief PGen Archie Francisco Gamboa to conduct an investigation,” PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in a text message to reporters on Wednesday when asked about an update on the investigation against Sinas over accusations that physical distancing was not observed during the Metro Manila police chief’s mañanita or birthday serenade last Friday, May 8.
Under Republic Act 8551 or PNP Reform and Reorganization Act of 1998, the IAS is the internal watchdog of the nation’s police force. It oversees investigations on police accused of violating police procedures and regulations.
IAS can also recommend appropriate criminal complaints against PNP members before the court based on thorough investigations.
Gamboa also directed the Inspector General of IAS to send a team to NCRPO to initiate a formal inquiry into the incident, Banac said.
Gamboa then reminded that the nation’s police force is not excluded in the quarantine protocols such as a ban on social gatherings.
“The PNP is not exempt from strict rules on mass gathering and I am directing all unit commanders to prohibit any and all social gatherings,” he said in a separate statement.
The chief PNP strongly reiterates strict observance of all public health protocols and biosafety standards by all personnel at all times.
To recall, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) shared photos of the birthday celebration on Facebook, showing Sinas, wearing a face mask, accepting flowers from guests, interacting with a crowd, and some policemen lining up for the buffet.
In an online press conference on Tuesday, Gamboa said he was informed by Sinas that social distancing was strictly complied during the mañanita.
Gamboa said he still trusts Sinas but also noted that he will study whether the NCRPO chief’s celebration failed to follow social distancing, which is one of the precautionary measures against COVID-19.
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