MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte Saturday said he has already forgiven Police Chief Gen. Debold Sinas for the mañanita birthday party, despite alleged violations under enhanced community quarantine protocols.
Duterte also assured the public of the police chief’s competence.
In a televised speech, the President said he has taken “full responsibility” for Sinas' appointment because he called the shots for his promotion.
“Mga kababayan ko, itong si Gen. Sinas sa PNP (Philippine National Police), akin ’to, this is my call. I take full responsibility but I also guarantee his competence and expertise in police work,” he said.
(My countrymen, Gen. Sinas as PNP chief is my responsibility.)
The President again defended Sinas from the controversy, saying it was not Sinas’ fault that his colleagues celebrated with him through a mañanita that is a “religious ritual” among Filipinos.
He has already forgiven him, Duterte said.
“Akin ’yun, kung may kasalanan siya doon, pardoned siya. Wala akong nakitang kasalanang masama na may mura, implications, masamang malisya, wala. Pumunta na ’yung ibang sundalo, mañanita surprise nga, di naman alam ng pobre,” said the President.
(Blame me. If he made any mistakes there, he is already pardoned. I did not see anything wrong about the celebration. There were no bad words, malice, none. People went there and it was a surprise.)
“Alam mo kasi ’yang mañanita, almost a religious ritual. Nakaugalian talaga ng mga Pilipino. Hindi kasalanan ng pobreng si Sinas na ’yan na may pumunta doon. Di niya alam. Eh, mañanita nga surprise, alangan namang sipain niya doon.”
(This mañanita is a Filipino tradition. It is not the fault of Sinas that people went there because he was not aware about it in the first place. It was a surprise. What did you want him to do? Kick them out of the party?)
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.