Sinas goes on medical leave; deputy is OIC

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2020 03:30 PM | Updated as of Aug 19 2020 07:05 PM

NCRPO Chief Debold Sinas during a briefing at the LRT2 Recto station for a simulation exercise on May 26, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Metro Manila police chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas said Wednesday he would go on medical leave and tap as his officer-in-charge an official who earlier this year made headlines for grabbing the cellphone of a reporter at a religious gathering. 

Sinas, who also courted controversy for a mañanita or birthday serenade that supposedly breached pandemic rules in May, said he would undergo a series of tests at a Manila hospital. 

He said Brig. Gen. Nolasco Bathan would be the OIC of the National Capital Region Police Office during his medical leave. 

Bathan is the deputy regional director for operations of the NCRPO, the unit's second highest post. 

GMA-7 reporter Jun Veneracion had accused Bathan of snatching his phone and deleting a video of policemen's scuffle with devotees in the Jan. 9 Traslacion. 

Bathan initially denied that he deleted the clip, later apologized and cited public security to justify his act. 

Sinas announced his medical leave on the first day of Metro Manila's return to a looser lockdown level. 

More details to follow. 

-- With a report from Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News