MANILA - Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Thursday said he agrees with President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to keep Police Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas as Metro Manila police chief despite violating lockdown measures, but added that he must face charges.
This, after earlier defending the police official, appealing for compassion as Sinas drew uproar for his recent birthday party that allegedly violated restrictions against mass gatherings and alcohol consumption under the lockdown.
Lacson, a former chief of the Philippine National Police, said the President might have based his decision on Sinas' performance as National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief.
"Yes I agree but he should not escape punishment," he told ANC.
"Make no mistake, I’m not saying he should be absolved dun sa dapat na punishment na matatanggap niya sa kaniyang ginawa (from the punishment he should get for what he did)."
Lacson said Sinas "really set a bad example."
"Mali 'yung judgment because you're implementing ECQs (enhanced community quarantine), may mga naaresto, and being the head of NCRPO himself violating the ECQ, hindi talaga magandang example," he said.
(His judgment was wrong because you're implementing ECQs, there are people getting arrested, and being the head of the NCRPO himself violating the ECQ, it's not a good example.
"It cannot be denied that the whole organization, PNP and NCRPO itself have been put in a bad light on account of that one, singular act of indiscretion."
Sinas is facing criminal and administrative charges over a social gathering for his birthday on May 8, when Metro Manila was still on strict lockdown.