Lacson mellows on Sinas: 'Consider his law enforcement service' | Inquirer News
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Lacson mellows on Sinas: ‘Consider his law enforcement service’

/ 12:55 PM May 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Amid widespread criticisms hurled against Metro Manila chief Major Gen. Debold Sinas over his controversial birthday “mañanita,” Senator Panfilo Lacson said the public should also look at the cop’s contribution to the police service and in keeping the metropolis “safe from the virus.”

Lacson was among several senators who earlier said the birthday gathering for Sinas projected a “bad example” from authorities tasked to enforce quarantine measures.

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But in his tweet on Friday, the senator said: “P/MGen Debold Sinas has been bashed, criticized and pilloried both on social and mainstream media.”

“He has since apologized and regretted his indiscretion. We may also want to consider his long law-enforcement service and his share to keep Metro Manila safe from the virus,” he added.

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Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who replied to Lacson’s tweet, disagreed with the views of the senator.

“I disagree, Senator. As a Police General he has a duty to set a good example for citizens to follow the law. He will demoralize the PNP if he is not prosecuted,” Guanzon, a lawyer, said.

“Sinas’ years in service is, in fact, aggravating, not a mitigating, circumstance . With so many years in service he should have known that what he was doing as a Chief NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Office) was against the law,” she added.

Lacson clarifies

Lacson, in a later statement, clarified that he never suggested for “forgiveness or absolution” for Sinas with his earlier tweet.

“Rather, it is an appeal to concerned netizens not to rub salt to injury by going to the extent of posting out-of-date photos to sow more hatred towards Sinas by exploiting the naïveté of certain individuals to join the bandwagon of hate towards the police officer,” he said.

“Certainly, he should get the punishment he deserves even as the appropriate authorities are already investigating him,” he added.

Criminal charges are now being readied against the Metro Manila chief for alleged violations of quarantine rules imposed by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has so far infected close to 12,000 in the country.

Sinas came under fire after the NCRPO’s Facebook page shared photos of his “mañanita,” or birthday serenade which showed the NCRPO chief receiving roses, accepting gifts, blowing candles and interacting with guests and policemen, who were also seen not following social distancing rules.

The PNP has launched an internal investigation into Sinas’ alleged violation of health protocols during his birthday gathering.

Sinas has since apologized, saying it was “never (his) intention to disobey” existing quarantine protocols.

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TAGS: birthday celebration, Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, coronavirus disease, COVID-19, Debol Sinas, Mañanita, Nation, NCRPO chief, News, quarantine rules, Senator Panfilo Lacson
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