Palace seeks findings of probe on Metro Manila Police chief's birthday party

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 14 2020 02:26 PM

Palace seeks findings of probe on Metro Manila Police chief's birthday party 1
A policeman bumps fists with Metro Manila police chief Major Gen. Debold Sinas during his birthday celebration in this photo posted by the National Capital Region Police public information office on Facebook, May 8, 2020.

MANILA - Malacañang said Thursday it wants to be briefed on the results of the investigation on the birthday party of Metro Manila's chief of police which drew flak for violating the ban on mass gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea ordered the Internal Affairs Services of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to forward the results of the probe on Metro Manila Police chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas' birthday party to the Palace, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

"I think it's a significant development that no less than the Executive Secretary has ordered the investigation and that the results be forwarded to his office,” Roque said during a Palace briefing.

Sinas on Thursday apologized for the May 8 celebration, which he described as a mañanita or early birthday serenade.

"I apologize for what transpired during my birthday that caused anxiety to the public," he said.

He said some of the photos that had been circulating online were "edited and grabbed from old posts."

The photos, published on the Facebook page of the Metro Manila Police, showed officers giving Sinas roses and cakes during the event. Photos also showed Sinas mingling at a table, and guests lined up at buffet meals.

The PNP on Thursday assured the public of an impartial investigation into the incident, saying policemen should be a "model for all."

Roque said the Palace would let the investigation take its course.

"Hayaan na muna nating umusad ang imbestigasyon bago natin pag-usapan ang parusa," the Palace spokesman said.

(Let's allow the investigation to take its course before we talk about the punishment.)