Sinas not off-the-hook yet for ‘mañanita’ mess despite Duterte support — Lacson
MANILA, Philippines — While he agreed with the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to keep Metro Manila chief Maj. General Debold Sinas, Senator Panfilo Lacson stressed that the police official should still face punishment over the “mañanita” controversy.
“I agree (with the President), but he (Sinas) should not escape punishment for what he did,” Lacson, himself a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Thursday.
In a taped public address aired late Tuesday, Duterte said he would not order Sinas relieved of his duties, adding that the police official is an “honest” and “good officer.”
The PNP Internal Affairs Service is investigating Sinas for violating quarantine measures after he allowed fellow officers to serenade him on his 55th birthday on May 8 despite the lockdown of Metro Manila, considered the national epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Last week, the PNP filed criminal charges against Sinas and 18 other police officials, including five generals, for violating quarantine rules.
PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, meanwhile gave assurance that Duterte’s pronouncement would not affect the criminal and administrative complaints filed against Sinas.
Lacson is of the belief that the President may have considered Sinas’ performance in terms of the enforcement of the quarantine measures in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“The President, I think, was thinking along the line of what he (Sinas) has done and what he is doing in implementing the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) in NCR,” the senator said.
“I think the President based his decision to retain him mainly on that,” he added.
Nevertheless, Lacson reiterated that Sinas projected a bad example for not following quarantine protocols.
“He’s facing criminal as well as administrative cases on account of the mañanita case, while celebrating his birthday. But his performance as NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Region) director is different from that singular act of indiscretion, shall we say. He really set a bad example,” he said.
He added that the incident involving Sinas had put the PNP and the NCRPO ”in a bad light on account of that one singular act of indiscretion.”
“Mali ang judgment because you are implementing ECQ at may naaresto. And then being the head of NCRPO himself, violating the ECQ, hindi talagang magandang example,” Lacson said.
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