MANILA — Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas' appointment as the next chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) raised eyebrows, as critics cited his blotchy record of controversies that marked his tenure as Metro Manila top cop since 2019.
Here are several things about the controversial soon-to-be PNP chief:
1. Prior to his stint as the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, Sinas served as Central Visayas police's regional director. It was under Sinas' watch in Central Visayas when the spate of alleged communist killings took place in Negros Oriental and Negros occidental, islands under the jurisdiction of his office. Sinas was made to explain before a Senate panel over the killings.
2. Sinas became a household name in May 2020, after the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) uploaded photos of his birthday celebration, a gathering he later tagged as "mañanita," that took place when Metro Manila was supposed to be under strict lockdown to arrest the spread of COVID-19. Sinas claimed the photos were "edited." He is now facing criminal charges for violating quarantine protocols.
3. At the height of the controversy, Sinas' top defender was President Rodrigo Duterte, who refused to relieve him from post as it was not the police official's fault that other people wanted to celebrate with him on his birthday.
"Itong kaso ni Sinas, General Sinas, sa National Capital Region commander, ako 'yung ayaw na malipat siya. He is a good officer. He's an honest one, and hindi niya kasalanan kung may mangharana sa kaniya sa birthday niya," he said.
4. Two months later, Sinas was back in the headlines over his viral confrontation with the family of a retired officer that he and his men asked to leave from a government compound in Taguig City.
5. Sinas was a meme favorite too. He loves the iconic Japanese anime Voltes V, which was the theme of his viral mañanita celebration.
6. Sinas was appointed NCRPO chief in October 2019, succeeding his PMA classmate Guillermo Eleazar, who was promoted as well. During his appointment, PNP said Sinas was known for his “Proud to be Police” advocacy.
7. One of Sinas' final acts in his year-long stint as NCRPO director was instituting a fitness program particularly for station-bound police officers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And to the general, it came with an achievement of his own.
"Para [sa] mga kasama nating lalampa-lampa, 'yong mga kasama nating medyo matataba," Sinas told the troops at Camp Bagong Diwa.
According to a 2014 profile by SunStar Cebu, Sinas was born in Butuan City.
His father was a military officer, and was the one who convinced him to study at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). Sinas graduated in 1987, with the PMA Hinirang class.
Sinas will take the helm of PNP on Tuesday, November 10.