Duterte keeps ‘honest’ Sinas despite ‘manañita’ mess
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night said embattled Metro Manila police chief Major Gen. Debold Sinas will stay in his post despite fierce criticisms over the alleged quarantine protocols breach during his birthday celebration.
Sinas has drawn flak after photos of a gathering posted on his office’s Facebook page showed him accepting roses from his guests, blowing candles on his birthday cake, fist-bumping with another officer, and his guests drinking without observing physical distancing.
But Duterte said he will not order Sinas relieved, calling the top Metro Manila cop an “honest” and “good officer.”
“I don’t want him to be transferred. He is a good officer. He is an honest one. It was not his fault that there were people who serenaded him,” Duterte said, speaking in Filipino, in a taped public address.
“I will not order his transfer. He stays there, until further orders,” he added.
The Philippine National Police Internal Affairs Service is investigating Sinas for violating quarantine measures by allowing fellow officers to serenade him on his 55th birthday on May 8 despite the lockdown of Metro Manila, the epicenter of the local outbreak of the new coronavirus that causes the severe respiratory disease COVID-19.
On Friday, the PNP filed criminal charges against Sinas and 18 other police officials, including five generals, for violating quarantine rules.
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