Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas will remain as the Metro Manila police head despite alleged violations of lockdown guidelines, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said on Monday.
Gamboa said his decision was due to the continued lockdown brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)
“I hope the public would understand kasi nandito tayo sa ganito nga, may emergency situation [because we are in an emergency situation],” he said in a radio interview.
Gamboa added that Sinas is in charge of programs in relation to the pandemic, and it would be difficult for the PNP to relieve him while the country is still under quarantine.
“Siya yung nag-establish nung mga naunang quarantine [He established the first quarantine facilities],”he explained.
Gamboa also said that when Sinas became the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, illegal gambling stopped in Metro Manila, and the campaign against illegal drugs intensified.
Based on the PNP data, NCR has the highest number of arrested drug suspects — 2,067 — from March 15 to April 30.
“I hope ma-validate ito ng publiko na indeed, walang nangyaring suhulan pagdating sa illegal gambling dito sa NCR [I hope the public validates that no bribery happened in the illegal gambling in NCR],” he added.
Last week, Sinas and 18 other police officers were charged by the PNP-Internal Affairs Service (IAS) of various criminal and administrative charges for violating physical distancing measures.
Sinas was criticized for having a birthday gathering in Camp Bagong Diwa despite the lockdown.
He apologized for the incident.
Gamboa has assured the public that if found liable by the court, those charged could be suspended and face forfeiture of pay.