‘Pictures speak a thousand words’: PNP-IAS finalizing probe on Sinas’ mañanita
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) said it is finalizing the preliminary probe into Metro Manila police chief Major Gen. Debold Sinas’ controversial birthday celebration so that they can soon file criminal complaints against Sinas and other police officials.
“’Yung nakita kasi namin kahapon na legit yung ibang pictures, so yung pictures naman kasi it speaks of a thousand words kaya admissible. Ang gagawin namin, we identify yung mga tao dun. After noon, kukuhanan namin ng statement, tapos i-submit namin kay chief PNP,” PNP-IAS director Lawyer Alfegar Triambulo said in a phone interview with reporters on Thursday.
(What we saw yesterday were legit photos so pictures, it speaks of a thousand words so it is admissible. What we need to do, we will identify the people involved. After that, we will get statements and submit it to chief PNP.)
“Kaya ang gagawin namin aside ng investigation, aside from supporting evidence, gagawa na kami ng criminal complaint at case referral ng kaso sa prosecutor,” he added.
(That is why what we will be doing aside from the investigation, aside from supporting evidence, we will be filing criminal complaints and case referral of the case to the prosecutor.)
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque earlier said that the PNP is set to file criminal cases against Sinas and other guests who attended the “mañanita” or birthday celebration, which came under fire for ignoring quarantine protocols against mass gathering and social distancing.
Triambulo said the PNP unit is set to file criminal complaints for violation of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and other related city ordinances before the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office after they finish the preliminary investigation.
Triambulo said he has yet to finalize the number of police officials involved in the birthday occasion.
He added that they will file administrative cases against the involved police officials if they receive go signal from the Office of the President.
“Kaya after ng preliminary investigation kung i-approve yung investigation bukas, kapag nag-go signal na si Presidente sa hearing ng ganun, ifile na namin sa administrative yung kaso,” he said.
(After the preliminary investigation if they approve the investigation, if the President sends his go signal, we will file the administrative cases.)
Sinas’ birthday bash became controversial after pictures of the event were posted on National Capital Region Police Office-Public Information Office (NCRPO-PIO) official Facebook page showing that some policemen and visitors of the event were not observing social distancing during the gathering at Camp Bagong Diwa, NCRPO Headquarters in Bicutan, Taguig City.
The photos were later deleted after it received criticisms from netizens, lawmakers, and personalities.
Sinas issued an apology over causing “anxiety” to the public over the controversial gathering. But he also claimed that some photos shared online were edited and were from a celebration held last year.
Authorities placed Metro Manila under enhanced community quarantine since the mid-March which means quarantine protocols were enforced such as social distancing, mandatory wearing of face masks, and a prohibition on all forms of mass gatherings, among others.
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