Major General Debold Sinas will still be the Metro Manila police chief despite his violations of quarantine measures while the Philippines is suffering from the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It seems that he is irreplaceable based on the explanation of Philippine National Police chief General Archie Gamboa.
On May 8, 2020, 18 cops gave Sinas a surprise birthday party, which is a mass gathering with liquor. While it violated several quarantine rules, the Metro Manila police chief allowed it and participated in it.
On May 15, 2020, the PNP filed a criminal case with the Taguig Prosecutor’s Office in Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines against Sinas and the other 18 cops who celebrated his birthday with him. They were accused of violating Republic Act No. 1132 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act and Taguig City Ordinance No. 12-2020, which requires the wearing of face masks and the enforcement of physical distancing.
On May 18, 2020, Gamboa was asked if Sinas would remain as the Metro Manila police chief in an interview with the ABS-CBN show “Teleradyo.” The PNP chief replied, “Yes.”
“I hope the public would understand kasi nandito tayo sa (because we are in an) emergency situation,” Gamboa explaind. “Pag palitan mo siya (If we replace him), we will never know. Napakahirap palitan dahil ang dami niyang programa (It is hard to replace him because he has many programs) in relation to COVID.”
PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS) chief Alfegar Triambulo has issued a memorandum to Gamboa stating that the controversial birthday celebration of Sinas constituted administrative offenses of less grave neglect of duty and less grave misconduct. Here is the list of the 18 cops who participated in the party that violated quarantine rules:
- Brigadier General Nolasco Bathan – Deputy Chief for Administration
- Brigadier General Florendo Quibuyen – Deputy Chief for Operations
- Brigadier General Florencio Ortilla – Chief Regional Staff
- Brigadier General Gerry Galvan – Chief, Regional Internal Affairs Service
- Brigadier General Ildebrandi Usana – Chief, Human Rights Affairs Office
- Colonel Eliseo Tanding – Chief, Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division
- Colonel Remus Medina – Chief, Regional Intelligence Division
- Colonel Emmanuel Peralta – Chief, Southern Police District
- Colonel Ferdinand Ortega – Chief, Valenzuela City Police
- Colonel Manuel Abrugena
- Colonel Tomas Frias
- Colonel Rodel Pastor
- Colonel Raul Tacaca
- Lieutenant Colonel Orlando Carag, Jr
- Major Epream Paguyod
- Major Britz Sales
- Corporal Abdumer Bakli
- Corporal Bernie Lazaga