Palace mum on Sinas fate before IAS report on quarantine breach is submitted
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang refused to comment on the fate of Metro Manila police chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas as it awaits the result of the investigation on his alleged quarantine protocol breach before giving the go signal to the filing of administrative charges against the embattled police official.
“Ang alam ko po inaantay natin ‘yung investigation ng IAS (Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service) dahil ang Palasyo po ang magbibigay ng go-order kung sasampahan o hindi ng administrative case si General Sinas,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised Palace briefing Monday.
“Please understand, I would rather not comment on that, para wala naman pong prejudgment on the part of the Palace,” he added.
Roque made the statement after PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said it would be difficult to boot out Sinas given the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
The PNP has criminally charged Sinas and 18 other police officers for violating the enhanced community quarantine protocols, particularly on mass gatherings.
The complaint stemmed from a “mañanita” the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) held for Sinas’ birthday last May 8.
The gathering had drawn widespread criticism after photos were posted on the Facebook page of the NCRPO-Public Information Office showing that some quarantine protocols such as social distancing and the wearing of masks were not observed in what was deemed was a mass gathering at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
Strict quarantine protocols are in effect in Metro Manila and other “high-risk” areas to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. These protocols include mandatory wearing of face masks outside of a residence, physical distancing, prohibition on mass gatherings, 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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