Closed issue, PNP chief says of Sinas’ ‘mañanita’
MANILA, Philippines — The birthday “mañanita” of Metro Manila police chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas is no longer an issue while his eviction of the family of a retired police official was “rightful,” the head of the Philippine National Police said on Wednesday.
“The mañanita, I think, is a closed issue,” PNP chief Police Gen. Archie Gamboa said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel. However, he did not elaborate on his statement.
He also did not immediately respond to the Inquirer when contacted for comment.
Sinas and 18 other police officers are facing criminal charges in the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office for violating the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and Taguig City Ordinance No. 12 Series 2020, which requires the wearing of face masks and the observance of physical distancing.
This was after the National Capital Region Police Office director and dozens of well-wishers were photographed without masks and standing closely together during a “mañanita” to celebrate his birthday at Camp Bagong Diwa on May 8.
On top of this, Sinas was again embroiled in another controversy after he and more than a dozen armed policemen in camouflage uniforms tried to evict the family of retired police officer Arnel delos Santos from their house at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City on July 19.
The family of Delos Santos has cried harassment and said they would file criminal and administrative charges against the police.
But Gamboa defended Sinas’ action, saying the lot occupied by the Delos Santos family was “government property.”
“What’s coming out is that the family has rights over that land. They don’t. It is government property and it is even a government structure. That’s probably what others don’t understand that’s why they bash General Sinas,” he said.
“How can we be wrong when we just want to impose our right also in possessing our own land, our own building?” he added. “I stand on what occurred there, that it was just rightful to impose what is ours.”
Police Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson, earlier told the Inquirer that Sinas would not be relieved from his post despite these incidents.
Aside from Gamboa, Sinas has also found an ally in President Duterte after the latter refused to sack him over the mañanita issue, saying he was a “good and honest” police officer.
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