MANILA - Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas said Thursday he was "not fond" of leaving behind a legacy and would rather continue previous police commanders' programs.
Sinas, who drew heavy public criticism for holding a mañanita birthday party during Metro Manila's strict lockdown in May, was appointed to the top post in November, with President Rodrigo Duterte saying he has forgiven him for breaking anti-virus measures.
Sinas was also Central Visayas police chief from 2018 to 2019, during which period a series of killings took place in Negros island.
"Ang mañanita is nand'yan na 'yan at saka...hinihintay ko na lang po lumabas ang decision. I’m not fond of legacy. Ako kinausap ko na rin ang ibang staff, implement natin ang policy, continuity ang gusto natin. Sana 'yung actions ng dating commanders ay ipagpatuloy natin. Di po natin kailangan magbago-bago ng policy," he told ANC's Headstart.
(The mañanita is history. I'm just waiting for the court's decision. I'm not fond of legacy. I've talked to our staff, let's implement the policies, we want continuity. We want to continue previous commanders' actions. We don't need to change policy.)
"Kung ano po ang judgment ng history sa akin ay bahala na po sila, ako lang nagpapatupad ako kung ano ang mandato ng isang chief PNP."
(Whatever history's judgment of me is none of my concern. I just enforce the PNP chief's mandate.)
Sinas has, however, implemented reforms, re-imposing the 12-hour work shift policy in the police force "to maximize police presence." The 8-hour shift policy of his predecessor Camilo Cascolan made it harder for policemen to rest and adjust to their daily schedule, Sinas said.
Sinas also said he recently reshuffled key PNP positions due to 7 senior officials who opted to vacate their post ahead of their retirement.
The PNP chief said he assigned Lt. Gen. Hawthorne Binag, deputy chief for operations, to head Joint Task Force COVID Shield to replace Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar as Binag's post handles external relations of the police force.
Eleazar as PNP deputy chief for administration handles the force's internal matters, Sinas said.
"Kinonsulta at kinausap ko po sila na sana di personalan, it’s only the organization," he said.
(I consulted them and said it's nothing personal, it's only organization.)
Duterte had bypassed Eleazar and Binag in appointing Sinas as chief PNP.
"I'm very happy that the President selected me and trusted me on my performance. As for how he selected me, it’s beyond me," he said.
Sinas said the President ordered him to take care of the police force during the pandemic and strengthen government's campaigns against corruption, drugs, terrorism and insurgency.
The PNP chief said he has ordered his men to go after high-value targets instead of small drug pushers. Cascolan had the same directive.
"The same, (Oplan) Tokhang pa rin kasi we find it very effective... Di na namin babaguhin 'yun. Ang amin lang is we restrategize," he said.
(We find Tokhang very effective. We won't change it, we'll just restrategize.)