Palace: Duterte chose Sinas because of his drug war ‘track record’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte picked Police Major General Debold Sinas as his next Philippine National Police (PNP) chief due to his contribution in the war against illegal drugs, Malacañang said Monday.
“Presidential appointments are really very executive in character, it is a prerogative of the President and he need not make any explanation for the appointment,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said when asked why Duterte chose Sinas as the nation’s new top cop.
“But nonetheless, tinignan syempre ni Presidente ang track record ng kanyang appointee at matagal nang sinasabi ni Presidente na talagang si bagong PNP chief Sinas ay napakalaki na ng naitulong sa kanyang war on drugs,” he added.
(But nonetheless, the President looked at the track record of his appointee and the President has long said that Sinas’ big help in the war on drugs.)
Roque said the President’s marching orders to Sinas was to continue the war against illegal drugs and to sustain the “gains” in peace and order.
“Appointment to the post is a matter of trust and confidence and he is, for the moment, the most trusted by the President. Let’s leave it at that,” Roque said when pressed further about Duterte’s decision to appoint Sinas as the next PNP boss.
In May, Sinas, then director of the National Capital Region Police Office, figured in a controversy when he held a gathering to celebrate his birthday. It was widely seen as a clear violation of quarantine protocols since the government has strictly barred social gatherings, including birthday celebrations, at the time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duterte backed Sinas nevertheless and even called the former Metro Manila police chief an “honest” and “good officer.”
Asked if Sinas will inspire Filipinos to follow quarantine rules, Roque appealed to “give him a chance.”
“Let’s give him a chance. He has six months to prove his worth. And let’s see if, after six months, he will inspire people,” Roque said.
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