MANILA — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday reminded newly-appointed Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas of the government's commitment to "uphold justice and human rights" as he takes the helm of the national police force.
In a statement, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia expressed hopes that Sinas would pursue every case of human rights violation, even if his own men are involved.
"CHR hopes that, under the new leadership, PNP will affirm the government’s commitments to uphold justice and human rights by pursuing every case of human rights violation. We cannot overemphasize the role of our law enforcers in making perpetrators accountable for their offenses," De Guia said.
Sinas' appointment as the next national police chief raised eyebrows as critics cited his blotchy record of controversies that marked his tenure as Metro Manila and Central Visayas' top cop.
In May, Sinas drew public ire over a mañanita or pre-dawn birthday serenade at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City that allegedly violated the 10-people limit on gatherings to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and even while Luzon was under strict lockdown. Duterte had refused to sack Sinas.
Two months later, in July, Sinas again made 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.
It was also under Sinas' watch as Central Visayas police regional director in 2019 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.
While critics pounded on Sinas, the CHR expressed optimism that the PNP will be a partner in protecting Filipinos from human rights violations.
"At the turn of a new phase for the PNP, we remain steadfast in extending the hand of partnership so that, together, concrete and credible actions may be laid down in the interest of upholding the human rights of all," De Guia said.
— With reports from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News
FROM THE ARCHIVES