MANILA – Metro Manila police chief, Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas will remain in his post while there is an ongoing investigation on his birthday party celebration amid the enhanced community quarantine, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday.
PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, denied reports circulating on social media that a new chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) was already appointed.
“Fake news ‘yan. Stay muna siya (That is fake news. He will stay in the post) until further notice. No movement among top officials yet,” Banac said in a message.
He added that the Inspector General of the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) will file criminal charges before the Taguig City Prosecutors Office on Friday against Sinas and other NCRPO officials.
Banac, however, did not reveal the criminal cases that will be filed against them.
Sinas drew flak after photos of a “mañanita” or early morning birthday serenade at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City went viral on social media last May 8.
In the photos released by the NCRPO public information office, it was noticeable that the police officials failed to observe physical distancing. The photos were deleted shortly after the incident.
On Thursday night, PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa said Sinas and other NCRPO officials will be held accountable for their individual culpability as he ordered the Internal Affairs Service (IAS) to investigate the incident.
It maybe recalled that in February, Sinas was the subject of a controversy when he ordered the profiling of Muslim students in Metro Manila sometimes in February.
Muslim leaders had condemned Sinas memorandum seeking an updated list of Muslim students in high schools, colleges and universities in Metro Manila as a “blatant profiling of Muslims” and “act of discrimination in its highest form.”
The bangsamoro regional government labeled the move as a form of “oppression” and “baseless stereotyping.”
Sinas recalled the controversial memo and admitted there may have been “lapses” in the rollout of the controversial memorandum asking authorities to collect information on Muslim students in the metropolis.