Birthday celebration for NCRPO’s Sinas not a ‘party’ but uncalled for, says Año
MANILA, Philippines — The birthday bash for Metro Manila police chief Major Gen. Debold Sinas “cannot be called a birthday party,” according to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, but “that is uncalled for.”
During the online Palace briefing, the DILG chief explained last week’s “incident” which photos circulated quickly and broadly on social media as soon as the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) posted it in its official Facebook page.
“’Yung insidente na ‘yun ay hindi naman matatawag na birthday party. Ito ay isang mañanita na isang tradition sa military and police service na nagsimula pa sa Philippine Military Academy,” said Año, an alumnus of the country’s premier military school belonging to the Matikas Class of 1983.
(The incident cannot be called a birthday party. It was a mañanity, which is a tradition in the military and the police service that started in the Philippine Military Academy.)
“Kaya lang sa panahon ngayon, that is uncalled for,” he added.
(But during these times, that is uncalled for.)
Año has also reminded government officials to observe “delicadeza” following reports of a supposedly surprise birthday fete for Sinas, a member of PMA’s Hinirang Class of 1987.
The controversial photos supposedly taken during the birthday event for Sinas earned the ire and criticisms of the public, who have been under quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly 60 days now and were repeatedly reminded to obey quarantine rules or face arrest.
The photos showed alleged police officers – some in civilian clothes – offering roses to Sinas, getting food from what appeared like a buffet table complete with table skirting, and eating on dressed round tables and sitting on dressed plastic chairs. The photos have since been deleted from NCRPO’s official Facebook page.
Netizens slammed the apparent gathering with some alleging there were violations of health protocols, like lack of physical distancing, during Sinas’ birthday event. All forms of mass gathering, including social gathering, is among those banned under a community quarantine, which the national government imposed to curb the spread of the potentially deadly COVID-19.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), meanwhile, said it will look into the supposed lack of physical distancing during Sinas’ birthday celebration.
“So I leave it to the Philippine National Police to conduct an investigation kung meron ba talagang naganap na violations ng quarantine guidelines,” Año said.
(So I leave it to the Philippine National Police to conduct an investigation into whether there were really violations of quarantine guidelines.)
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