May 14, 2020

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, criminal cases will be filed against Metro Manila’s chief of police Major General Debold Sinas and other senior police officials after holding a birthday celebration that violated lockdown protocols.

“Per my latest conversation with Philippine National Police Chief Gen. Archie Gamboa, a criminal case is now being readied to be filed tomorrow against NCRPO Chief Debold Sinas, along with other senior police officials who attended the gathering,” said Roque in a statement.

Roque adds that the PNP will be getting clearance from the Office of the President regarding the filing of administrative charges, saying: “Maj. Gen. Sinas is a third level officer and a presidential appointee; hence, a clearance from the OP (Office of the President) is needed for the filing of administrative charges of the PNP. The same applies to the senior police officials who are also presidential appointees.” 

The “mañanita” has caused public uproar and criticism as photos on the Facebook page of the National Capital Region Police Office-Public Information Office (NCRPO-PIO) reveal that some quarantine protocols such as social distancing and wearing of face masks were breached during the said gathering in NCRPO’s headquarters at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City. 

[READ: OK, so what is a “mañanita”?]

The post has since been taken down and Sinas has issued an apology, saying that it was not his intention to break quarantine protocols and that some of the photos online were edited and grabbed from old posts. 

Sinas also said that he won’t be taking a leave despite these allegations as he will be waiting for the results of the investigation. In an Inquirer report he said: “’Di naman kailangan dahil aantayin ko yung results ng investigation.”

According to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases, a mass gathering is a “planned or spontaneous event where the number of people attending the event could strain the planning and response resources of the city or municipality where the event will be held.”

Throughout quarantine, strict laws and measures have been implemented by the government in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. A series of press briefings and presidential addresses were even held to announce guidelines and a handful of civilians have been unfairly punished, arrested and even killed for allegedly violating these measures.

“Mañanito” translates to “early hours of the morning,” as las mañanitas are songs meant to be performed during parties, holidays and fiestas which has been a tradition adopted by Filipinos from the Spaniards.

Numerous netizens and even lawmakers have slammed the police officers for allowing the gathering while most parts of the country are under lockdown following strict social distancing measures.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Inquirer.net

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TAGS: ecq Harry Roque iatf Major General Debold Sinas mañanita office of the vice president PNP social distancing