The Gist


Interesting news on our side of the world, this is what happens when police officers violate the law they implement.

/ 12 November 2020

The news gets crazier everyday, the other day you wake up without hearing from your favorite actors and news anchors from media giant ABS-CBN, the next day you wake up seeing National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Major General Debold Sinas’ name all over the internet. 

Sinas, the “mañanita” cop, is now the Chief of the 200,000-strong Philippine National Police (PNP).  This was confirmed by Malacañang Spokesperson Harry Roque during his televised press conference last Monday, November 9. 

Tinalaga po ni Presidente Rodrigo Roa Duterte si Debold Menorias Sinas bilang bagong Philippine National Police Chief effective po bukas, November 10, 2020 [President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has assigned Debold Sinas as the new PNP Chief effective tomorrow],” Roque said.

Roque justified that presidential appointments cannot not be questioned for they are “very executive in character.” 

“It is a prerogative of the President and he need not make any explanation for his appointment. But nonetheless, the President checked Sinas’ track record and he has seen that the officer helped a lot with [the government’s] war against illicit drugs,” Roque explains.

But what does this say towards our government? Are we protecting and rewarding officials who have violated our laws? Here’s what we know about Sinas’ “track record.” 

In the early months of the quarantine, Sinas and his police colleagues drew flak after they were seen celebrating his 55th birthday last May 8, 2020. 

It can be recalled that during this time, the government has placed Metro Manila under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). This means that social gatherings, including birthday celebrations were strictly prohibited. 

Sinas together with 18 police officers faced criminal charges filed by the PNP before the Taguig prosecutor’s office on May 15.

The officials were accused of violating Taguig City Ordinance No. 12-2020, and  Republic Act No. 1132, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.

By this time people thought that the law would be on their side until the President, in his taped address, announced that he will back Sinas even after violating strict government policies against Covid-19. 

The President said that he has decided to retain Sinas in his position because he considers the officer’s “seniority.”

Itong kaso ni General Sinas sa National Capital Region (NCR) ako iyong ayaw na malipat siya, he is a good officer, he is an honest one, and hindi niya kasalanan kung may mangharana sakanya sa birthday niya, [Sinas is a good officer, he is an honest one and it is not his fault if people serenaded him on his birthday],” Duterte can be remembered making a statement. 

“They are all competent, but you know, seniority, it is his time to be there and I do not believe in just firing him because kinantahan siya ng happy birthday,” he added. 

In a country where violators are being pampered, promoted, and backed by the nation’s  highest-ranking official, the key to a more progressive and rational government lies in the hands of those who seek change.