Sinas, other police officials in mañanita to face criminal case – Palace
MANILA, Philippines — A criminal case is set to be filed against Metro Manila’s chief of police Major General Debold Sinas and other senior police officials over the highly-criticized birthday celebration amid the enhanced community quarantine, Malacañang announced Thursday.
“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,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.
PNP is also getting clearance from the Office of the President regarding the filing of administrative charges, Roque added.
“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,” he also said.
The mañanita has drawn widespread criticism after photos were posted on the Facebook page of the National Capital Region Police Office-Public Information Office (NCRPO-PIO) showing that some quarantine protocols such as social distancing and wearing of mask were not observed during the said mass gathering in NCRPO’s headquarters at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City. The post, however, was later taken down.
Sinas has already apologized for the event but said that it was not his intention to break the quarantine protocols. He also claimed that some of the photos circulating online were edited and grabbed from old posts.
Strict quarantine protocols are in effect in Metro Manila and other “high-risk” areas to prevent the further spread of the potentially deadly respiratory ailment COVID-19. These protocols include mandatory wearing of face masks outside of residence, physical distancing, prohibition on all forms of mass gatherings, and liquor ban in some areas, among others.
According to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, a mass gathering is a “planned or spontaneous event where the number of people attending the event could strain the planning and response resources of the city or municipality where the event will be held.”
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