Sinas not yet off the hook from charges despite Duterte defense: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 21 2020 02:31 PM

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- Metro Manila Police chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas still has to face the charges filed against him over his May 8 birthday gathering that constituted alleged violations of quarantine regulations even after President Rodrigo Duterte defended him, Malacañang said Thursday.

Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque said the President's defense of Sinas was without prejudice to the charges filed against the police official.

"Tingin ko po, ang sinabi ni Presidente malinaw: sa ngayon po mananatili siya (Sinas) pero di po natin alam ang mangyayari sa mga susunod na araw dahil patuloy po ang proseso," Roque, also a lawyer, said in a Palace press briefing.

(I think the President was clear: he (Sinas) stays for now, but we don't know what will happen in the coming days because the process continues.)

"Alam po ng ating Presidente na kinakailangan umusad yung proseso," he added.

(The President knows that the process has to continue.)

Duterte, in a late-night televised briefing on Tuesday, said he would
not relieve Sinas from his post despite allegations that he had violated quarantine protocols during the May 8 mañanita attended by other police officers.

The Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service last week filed charges against Sinas and 18 other Metro Manila police officials for violating quarantine protocols.

The gathering, photos of which were posted then later deleted by the National Capital Region Police Office on Facebook, drew flak.

Sinas has apologized for the incident which he described as just a mañanita or early morning birthday serenade.

The police official on Wednesday said he is moving on from the incident and would continue his job.

“Kung nagkamali man, okay lang, tuloy lang po ang trabaho. 'Yun naman ang guidance ng President, tuloy ang trabaho at tuloy ang magandang gawain," he said.

(If there was a mistake, it's okay. I will continue working and doing good since that is the guidance of the President.)