PNP chief defends NCRPO head Sinas on birthday celebration

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

NCRPO Chief Debold Sinas (in orange) celebrated his birthday with dozens of guests amid the COVID-19 crisis

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 13) – Philippine National Police Chief Archie Gamboa defended on Tuesday the head of the National Capital Region Police Office against criticisms that his birthday celebration last week breached physical distancing protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.

NCRPO chief Debold Sinas celebrated his birthday, together with other members of the regional police force, last Friday at their office. The policemen surprised Sinas with an early morning serenade or mañanita that day.

Una, walang party’ng nangyari ang sabi ni Gen. [Debold] Sinas. Probably nagkaroon ng mañanita pero doon sa mañanita ang sabi ni Gen. Sinas is that inobserve pa rin nila ‘yong mga social distancing. Now, I don't think na meron namang violation ito,” said Gamboa in his virtual presser yesterday.

[Translation: First, Gen. Sinas said there was no party that happened. Probably they had mañanita but Gen. Sinas said they observed social distancing. Now, I don’t think it is a violation.]

Gamboa stressed that even top police officers are not exempted from following the law.

Alam naman natin napakahirap no’ng trabaho niya sa NCRPO but nevertheless it is not an excuse for him not to follow simple health protocols,” he said.

[Translation: We know that he has a hard job to do in NCRPO, but nevertheless, it is not an excuse for him not to follow simple health protocols.]

Photos posted by NCRPO Public Information Office on its Facebook page drew flak from netizens after showing many policemen attended the birthday celebration of Sinas.

Some police officers were seen giving Sinas roses and cakes, while the Metro Manila’s top cop was seen mingling with other people seated at different tables and lining up to get meals.

The photos have since been deleted by the NCRPO Public Information Office on their social media accounts.

As of posting, Sinas has not yet issued any statement about this matter.

Last Monday, Sinas placed Camp Karingal in Quezon City under a three-day lockdown after 14 members of the Quezon City Police District tested positive of the virus.

Ten of the 14 infected QCPD personnel are assigned inside Camp Karingal while the other four are assigned in QCPD community precincts.

To date, the PNP has 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases, along with four deaths and 52 recoveries. The police force is also monitoring 595 probable and 389 suspect COVID-19 cases.

The World Health Organization prescribed at least one meter or three feet distance in promoting physical distancing as a precautionary measure against the virus.